Laser pen ‘could cause an air crash’ in South Yorkshire

Neil Shackleton, who shone a laser at South Yorkshire's police helicopter
Neil Shackleton, who shone a laser at South Yorkshire's police helicopter
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THIS is the yob condemned for putting lives at risk by shining a laser at South Yorkshire’s police helicopter.

Neil Shackleton, aged 27, of Newstead Drive, Birley, shone the laser at the aircraft from his bedroom window - targeting the helicopter as it was flying two miles away.

Police used a camera on board the helicopter to establish where the laser had come from and managed to pinpoint Shackleton’s house.

When officers on the ground, from the Manor, Wybourn and Arbourthorne Safer Neighbourhood Team, searched his home they found the pen in his bedroom.

South Yorkshire Police condemned his actions, claiming he could have caused the helicopter to have crashed over a densely populated residential area.

PC Matt Lucas, who was in the helicopter when the laser hit the cockpit window, spoke out about his actions after Shackleton was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and ordered to pay £85 costs.

He said shining lasers was ‘dangerous’ because when they hit cockpit windows they had a ‘blinding effect’.

The incident was one of three involving lasers targeting the police helicopter within the space of a month.

The other two cases are still going through the courts.