Steven Baxter was jailed for
8 months for pointing laser pen at aircraft
MERSEYSIDE Police have confirmed that
Steven Baxter has been jailed for 8 months after shining a laser pen in the
direction of 2 planes and a helicopter flying over Merseyside.
Steven Phillip Baxter, 33, of Bradmoor Road, Bromborough was sentenced at
Liverpool Crown Court, on Thursday, 2 March 2017, to 8 months in prison, after
pleading guilty to 3 counts of endangering the safety of an aircraft. The judge
also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the laser pen.
Baxter directed the laser pen at 2 commercial planes and a National Police Air
Service (NPAS) Helicopter between around 7pm to 11pm, on 23 October 2016.
The Tactical Flight Officer (TFO) of the NPAS Helicopter directed Officers to
the address where the laser was being shone from and Baxter was arrested,
producing the laser pen and admitting the offence in interview.
Merseyside Police Inspector Bob Daly said:- "Merseyside Police treats the
shining of laser pens at aircraft extremely seriously. I hope this sentencing
sends a clear message to anyone considering such a reckless and dangerous act
that the consequences for them are severe. I also want to stress that while
thankfully no 1 was hurt on this occasion, the consequences could have been far
worse for the wider public and we would appeal to anyone with knowledge of
people engaging in this behaviour to contact us."
Ollie Dismore, Director of Flight Operations for the National Police Air Service
(NPAS) said:- "Laser misuse, such as this, is a 21st Century threat not
just to aviation but the wider travelling public and it is a positive step to
see this reflected in sentencing in this way. NPAS and the police forces it
serves take this offence very seriously and will continue to pursue prosecutions
against its own aircraft, as well as supporting airlines and airports in
protecting those travelling by air."
A Liverpool John Lennon Airport spokesperson added:- "The aviation
industry, the Police and the Courts all take this issue very seriously and this
sentencing sends a clear message to anyone using these devices that this will
not be tolerated and that custodial sentences will be handed out."
Anyone with information about individuals who use laser pens illegally are asked
to contact Merseyside Police on:- 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously and for
free, on:- 0800 555 111.