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It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the rest

VW

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http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1047746_helicopter_pilots_laser_terror

Mike Keegan and Jennifer Williams
1/ 5/2008


A POLICE helicopter pilot faced disaster when he was blinded by a powerful laser shone from the ground by a yob.

Pilot Mark Westwood was dazzled by the green beam which filled his cockpit above the streets of Stockport.

But he managed to keep control of the aircraft - then used its powerful cameras to trap the culprit in the bedroom of his home.

He managed to turn away from the dazzling rays, which left him and two colleagues in fear of their lives.

Seconds later, using a thermal imaging camera, one officer pinpointed the laser beam to an upstairs room at a house hundreds of feet below.

Within minutes, officers on the ground swooped on 20-year-old Dean Bottomley at his home in Larwood Avenue, Heaton Norris.

He was hauled before Stockport magistrates and could face a custodial sentence after he pleaded guilty to endangering an aircraft. He will be sentenced next month.

Lynn Rogers, prosecuting, said it could have resulted in `grave consequences'.

Stupid

She said: "It could have resulted in loss of control of the aircraft, endangering others."

Stuart Thompson, defending, said: "He does regret his actions and knows what he did was very stupid."

Incredibly, it was the second similar incident in one evening.

Just two hours earlier the same helicopter was hit by what police believe was a separate laser beam, this time from a house in nearby Reddish.

A 43-year-old man was arrested and has since been bailed on a similar charge.

The incidents have raised fears a rogue batch of lasers are being sold in the area.

Their beams are said to be more powerful than normal laser pens.

Last night Bottomley said he bought the pen for £45 off e-bay.

He said he intended to use it to look at the stars, but got a bit `giddy' when he saw the police helicopter. He said he was stunned when police arrived at his home and arrested him.

He added: "It's used for looking at stars and that's what I bought it for. When I saw the helicopter I was just having a bit of a laugh.

"I didn't really realise how serious it was."
Man, what a dumb ass. It's idiots like him who will ruin it for the rest of us in this country. I can't believe an incident has happened in the UK especially after what happened in AU...
 

FireMyLaser

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Re: It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the

"I didn't really realise how serious it was."

That's his problem and perhaps many others. :-/

*Sigh*
 

Razako

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Re: It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the

At least they caught these guys and that will hopefully deter further incidents. They still haven't caught the people firing them at planes in AU. With any kind of crime you want to catch the culprits asap and make an example before it turns into an epidemic.
 

VW

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Re: It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the

True, true. But I guess it means people like me will be more of a target when blinking lights are about. I'm already cautious about aircraft anyway, but it's not as if these counrty needs a ban along with AU. For people here, it's the last thing they need right now...
 

Murudai

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Re: It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the

Ha Ha! A success, finally! The culprits are caught!

I hope they get strung up in town square so all the laserists around can come to sting their skin with their lasers. Just for being so stupid.


But seriously, he caught them with a thermal imaging camera? How hard would it be to rig up some systems around airports so that when a laser is spotted the cameras target them? Be cheaper than trying to enforce a country wide ban.
 

Zom-B

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Re: It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the

I live near an airport, and I see plane flying in the distance every 5 minutes. There is no way in the world the airport can see my home, because all the other buildings are in the way.
 

MarioMaster

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Re: It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the

Razako said:
At least they caught these guys and that will hopefully deter further incidents. They still haven't caught the people firing them at planes in AU. With any kind of crime you want to catch the culprits asap and make an example before it turns into an epidemic.
yeah at least they caught the guy who did it
 

darklandz

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Re: It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the

what an absolute tw*t!! why dont people understand just how dangerous this is?
stockport just happens to be around the corner from me :(
these guys have probably already spoilt it for me :mad:
 

spyrorocks

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Re: It's idiots like these who'll ruin it for the

Good, throw him in jail for a very long time.
 




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