Man who shone laser beam at police helicopter jailed

Man who shone laser beam at police helicopter jailed

A MAN who shone a laser beam at a police helicopter has been jailed for four months.  

Melvin Joyce admitted endangering the aircraft’s safety during an incident when he directed a laser at it from the Dunmore area of North Belfast on January 21.

The Air Support Unit targeted by the beam directed officers to a house entered by those suspected of involvement and an arrest was subsequently made.

The 28-year-old yesterday pleaded guilty to shining a laser beam towards a moving helicopter with the likelihood of dazzling or distracting the pilot and admitted a second count of recklessly or negligently endangering the safety of an aircraft.

He was sentenced to four months in custody for shining the laser.

In a statement welcoming the sentence, the PSNI said: “Air Support Unit exists to try and protect people so to target us and endanger both our officers and the public is totally irresponsible and wrong.

“We hope this sends a clear message to those who would consider such reckless behaviour about the dangers of doing so and that we will pursue offenders who commit these acts.”