WATCH: Man Who Shone Laser At Police Helicopter Gets 6-Months Behind Bars

A 29-year-old man has will spend six months behind bars after he shone a laser pen at a police helicopter.

Voyslav Dimitrov was detained in Minerva Way, Wellingborough, on Saturday, September 15, after a National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter was targeted with a green laser.

The helicopter had been flying over Wellingborough assisting Northamptonshire Police officers in the search for a group of men who were reported to have been carrying knives.

When Dimitrov shone the light at the cockpit of the helicopter, it filled with light which forced the pilot to turn away from the laser to protect the safety of his crew and to avoid being blinded.

As a result of the incident, the crew could not continue their search for the men.

PC Dom Preece, who led the investigation, said:

“This incident could have been so much worse and it is thanks to the pilot, a man with over 20 years’ experience, that this did not end in a disaster.

“As you can see in the video (below), the laser Dimitrov used a number of times on the aircraft was very powerful and the consequences had the pilot become disorientated are horrifying.

“Dimitrov’s actions that night were completely reckless and dangerous.

“He endangered the lives of those inside the helicopter as well as the people on the ground and I hope his six months’ imprisonment will serve as a warning to others who may think it’s acceptable to shine a laser at any aircraft.”

There were 50 laser attacks on National Police Air Service crews in 2018.

This compares to 103 in 2015 and 70 and 67 the following two years.

Voyslav
Dimitrov

Ollie Dismore, Temporary Accountable Manager of NPAS, said:

“Shining a laser pen at an aircraft can have catastrophic consequences so we welcome the court’s decision to impose a six-month prison term on this individual.

“For NPAS, while laser strikes are decreasing on our crews, we cannot stress enough how dangerous they are.

“Crews have protective eyewear to help reduce the effects of a laser strike but it’s still a dangerous distraction, and that creates safety concerns.

“We believe this sentence sends a firm message to anyone thinking of doing the same.”

Dai Whittingham, Chairman of the UK Laser Working Group, said:

“I welcome news of a successful prosecution of an offence against the Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Act.

“Attacks against any form of transport are extremely dangerous, which is why Parliament decided to impose significant penalties for crimes of this nature.

“I share the Judge’s hope that the sentence on this occasion will be a deterrent for anyone else tempted to act irresponsibly with a laser device.”

Footage Credit: National Police Air Service (NPAS)

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3 comments

  • Six months is another pathetic sentence, he’ll be out in two or three. And what about deportation if he is not a UK citizen? This is another piece of soft touch sentencing.

    • Totally agree about soft sentencing. Here a man who supplied dangerous drugs and filmed his girlfriend die failed to seek medical assistance because he had a suspended sentence for carrying a knife got 8 1/2 years
      for manslaughter, another man who was charged with GBH for biting a mans cheek so as he needed an operation got 9 years. 8 1/2 years for supplying drugs and killing someone while under a suspended sentence is only 8 1/2 years, probably 3 years at most under recent sentencing guidelines.

  • Another soft sentence again with no fines attached either, Pathetic charge as well, attempted murder would be more suitable for this action. .Maybe the prosecuters should be demanding a minimum jail term . But I agree with both comments above especially if the person is a non UK citizen deport with no re entry .

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