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Laser pen man caught by cops

Police and a local politician have warned of the dangers of shining laser pens at aircraft after a beam was shone at a police helicopter last week.

The incident happened in the Spring Place area of east Belfast at about 11.40pm on Friday (September 16).

A 50-year-old man has been questioned and police said inquiries are ongoing.

Robin Newton, east Belfast DUP MLA a member of the Northern

Ireland Policing Board said: “How a mature man could even think about such an action as this is beyond understanding. This thoughtless deed could have blinded the pilot and may have resulted in a loss of life.

“Laser pens are dangerous when used in this manner. Anyone who close to midnight attempts to shine a laser beam into a high flying helicopter will know the possible consequences of such action,” he added.

A PSNI spokesman said such acts are highly irresponsible and dangerous. Lasers can cause temporary blindness and, where pilots are concerned, this could result in a catastrophe and possibly lead to significant loss of life, he said.

"If life is lost as a result of this behaviour, those involved could not only face charges of being in possession of a dangerous weapon but could also end up facing manslaughter charges," added the spokesperson.

Belfast Telegraph