Bedford man jailed for shining a laser at a police helicopter

A Bedford man has been jailed after he pleaded guilty to pointing a laser at a police helicopter.

By Harry Cheesewright
Thursday, 5th December 2019, 10:42 am

Neil Lanham, 50, of Woburn Road, was arrested after he was seen by the crew of the aircraft pointing a laser beam in their direction during the incident in September.

The crew then saw Lanham attempting to dispose of the laser by throwing it in a neighbour’s garden.

Officers on the ground arrested him as he was matched the description given by the crew.

Lanham pleaded guilty to pointing the laser at the police helicopter and was sentenced on November 26 (Tuesday) to four months imprisonment.

PC Adam Geary, who led the investigation, said: “Pointing a beam of a laser at any vehicle or aircraft is extremely dangerous. When the laser hits the cockpit of an aircraft the crew can get momentarily disoriented, which can have disastrous consequences.

“We want to make it clear that this should not be done for any reason and especially not for fun.

“Police helicopters are fitted with high-tech equipment and can observe and describe the perpetrator in detail, as well as track their movement and any attempts to discard the laser.

Video of the laser being pointed at the aircraft

“We are happy with the judge’s decision of imposing a jail term. Hopefully this will serve as a reminder to the severity with which such incidents are treated.”