Leicester boy loses 'laser pen' appeal

A 14-year-old youth accused of shining a laser pen at a police helicopter in Leicester has failed to convince the High Court he should not be prosecuted.

The boy was charged with recklessly endangering an aircraft after the helicopter was targeted in October.

His barrister argued it was not in the public interest to impose a criminal record for "10 minutes of stupidity".

But the judge refused to intervene, saying the consequences could have been "catastrophic".

The helicopter was hovering 4,000ft (1,220m) over an estate in the city when it was targeted four times, with one beam shining through the pilot's window and illuminating the cockpit, the court heard.

Awaiting trial

The pilot spotted a group of youngsters climbing into a minibus and the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was later arrested along with a friend.

Barrister Paul Prior appealed for the charge to be dropped, saying the boy - referred to in court as J - had only a limited appreciation of risk because of his youth.

However, Mr Justice Collins said it was up to the CPS to decide whether to mount a full prosecution.

He observed that, although J has said he is willing to accept a caution, he has now pleaded not guilty to the charge and is awaiting trial.

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