Man shone laser pen at police helicopter

A MAN who shone a laser pen at a police helicopter will be dealt with at crown court.

Richard Oliver was arrested outside his home in St Vincent Street, South Shields, after officers in the helicopter reported someone shining a green laser at them.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to endangering an aircraft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday

Justin Gibson, prosecuting, said: “On June 6, the Northumbria Police helicopter was flying over South Shields at about 12.55am.

“They saw a man in St Vincent Street shining a laser pen in the direction of the helicopter and alerted police.

“Officers found the defendant outside his house. He told the police he had been pointing it at the helicopter and handed it over.”

The court heard that Oliver is subject to a suspended prison sentence from Newcastle Crown Court.

Val Bell, defending, said: “He bought the pen on holiday in Turkey. It was looked at the airport on his return and found to be OK.

“He took the laser pen outside with him that night, and accepts that it was a stupid, silly thing to do.”

Magistrates sent the case to Newcastle, where he will appear at a later date,