Swansea man jailed for shining laser at police helicopter

A man who shone a laser pen at a police helicopter searching for a vulnerable young woman has been jailed.

William Fellowes, 29, from Portmead, Swansea, was sentenced to 30 weeks at Swansea Crown Court for shining/directing a laser beam towards an aircraft.

The National Police Air Service helicopter was assisting in the search on 2 September when it was targeted.

Supt Cath Larkman said the aircraft was “performing a vital duty and assisting us to look for a vulnerable and suicidal young girl who had been reported missing”.

“In these incidents, time is of the essence in locating the vulnerable person and ensuring their safety and the helicopter is extremely important in carrying out a quick and thorough search of the area.

“The actions of this individual not only prevented them from carrying out these important duties, but potentially could have had devastating effects in causing the helicopter to crash.

“We trust that this sentence acts as a deterrent to any other persons who may feel that they wish to carry out similar reckless and dangerous actions.”