West Yorkshire man, 50, jailed for laser attack on police helicopter

A 50-year-old man from West Yorkshire has been jailed for nine months after shining a laser pen at a police helicopter.
A 50-year-old man from West Yorkshire has been jailed for nine months after shining a laser pen at a police helicopter.

A 50-year-old man from West Yorkshire has been jailed for nine months after shining a laser pen at a police helicopter.

The helicopter was over Horsforth searching for a car which had failed to stop for officers on the ground, when David Gill, 50, repeatedly shone a green laser directly at the aircraft, forcing the crew to abandon the search.

The crew were able to pinpoint the source of light, guiding West Yorkshire Police officers to the location where they arrested Gill, of Stoney Lane, in the early hours of March 9.

Gill was charged with endangering the safety of an aircraft.

He pleaded not guilty but the charge was proven against him.

He appeared at Leeds Crown Court on April 30, and was sentenced to nine months in prison.

Recent figures reveal there were 50 laser attacks on police helicopter crews in 2018.

Ian Vause, assistant operations director for the National Police Air Service, said: “Shining a laser at an aircraft can have catastrophic consequences, endangering the crew on board and people on the ground. We are pleased this individual has been brought to justice, and the nine-month sentence should serve as a deterrent to anyone thinking of doing the same.”