Youth sentenced over passenger plane laser pen incident
A teenage boy has been sentenced for shining a laser pen at a passenger jet and a police helicopter flying over County Durham.
The 17-year-old, from the Chester-le-Street area, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Consett Youth Court on Friday.
He admitted endangering a holiday jet and a police helicopter in September.
He was given a 12-month supervision order. The boy said he had not meant to "cause danger".
The district judge was told there were 228 passengers and crew on board at the time, as the plane descended into Newcastle.
The Jet2.com Boeing had flown from Crete on 14 September last year and was flying at 5,000ft.
Later that evening the police helicopter also had a laser beam shone on it, when it was sent to investigate the earlier incident.
In a statement from an officer on board, he said he was "dazzled" by the light.
The boy's statement said he had bought the laser pen for £20 and he had no idea of the strength of the light. He said he had been in his bedroom playing, shining it out of the skylight window.
He said: "I never meant to cause danger to anyone, I was just carrying on in my house."