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Man accused over drone incidents

A man will appear in court over allegations that he flew a drone over packed football grounds.

Nigel Wilson, 42, of Nottingham, has been summoned in relation to 17 alleged breaches of the Air Navigation Order, Scotland Yard said.

He is said to have flown a "small unmanned surveillance aircraft" over venues including Liverpool's Anfield and the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal's home ground in north London. Both teams were playing at the time.

It is also claimed that he did not maintain direct, unaided visual contact with a device to monitor its flight path relative to landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Shard and the Houses of Parliament.

Wilson is accused of flying an unmanned surveillance aircraft over congested areas during football matches last year without permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The fixtures were:

:: Liverpool v Aston Villa on September 13 at Anfield

:: Liverpool v Ludogorets on September 16 at Anfield

:: Nottingham Forest v Fulham on September 17 at the City Ground

:: Derby County v Reading on September 23 at Pride Park

:: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur on September 27 at the Emirates Stadium

:: Stoke City v Newcastle United on September 29 at the Britannia Stadium

:: Derby County v Bournemouth on September 30 at Pride Park

:: Leicester City v Liverpool on December 2 at the King Power Stadium

Wilson has been summoned to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on April 16.

The Air Navigation Order 2009 says operators of small, unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly them over or within 150 metres of any congested area, over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 people, or within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the user's control, unless they have obtained permission from the CAA.

A spokesman for the CAA said: "We can confirm that we have assisted the police in preparing this prosecution.

"There are clear rules and regulations in place regarding the flying of drones in the UK and it is the responsibility of users to spend time fully understanding what those rules are."

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