A man who shone a laser at a police helicopter has been jailed.

At about 1.20am on 13 October 2014, the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter was deployed in Radcliffe when a laser was shone into the cockpit.

Police officers were guided to an address on Chapelfield, Radcliffe – the home of Andrew Paul Holden (26/04/1967).

On Friday 20 February 2015, he was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to endangering an aircraft.

The pilot on the flight, Captain Robert Grainger, said: “The consequences of targeting an aircraft can be horrendous.

“During this incident I had to ensure the safety of my passengers, the general public and myself, whilst being disorientated by the intense light.

“Luckily this incident didn’t result in any injuries, but it could quite easily have ended in fatalities.

“Sadly, and frustratingly, this is not a one off event. I hope that the sentence handed down reflects the severity of such foolish and reckless actions and will serve as a deterrent to others.”

Tactical Flight Officer, Pc Andy Shaw, said: “As a result of one person’s stupid and selfish actions we had to stop our original tasking, meaning the valuable resource of the NPAS helicopter was taken away from supporting officers on the ground.

“Fortunately, on this occasion it didn’t greatly impact on the incident we were dealing with or have any significant impact on the public, but we could have been involved in an incident whereby someone’s life was in danger. Additionally shining a laser into a helicopter could have itself had catastrophic consequences.

“The technology on board our helicopter means we are able to track individuals quite easily and as this case shows those involved in such activity will be caught and prosecuted.”

: Picture – Police Helicopter cockpit

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