Man convicted for ‘shooting’ police with a laser

A 21-year-old has been convicted of aviation sabotage after pointing a laser pen at the pilot of a pollice helicopter in Gothenburg last year.

The man was arrrested last February after trying to blind the pilot by pointing the laser at him in the helicopter.

He received a suspended sentence with community service in what could be a landmark case in Sweden.

The court heard that the man tried several times to shine the laser into the eyes of the pilot and it only the fact that the latter was wearing protective sunglasses meant that what could have been a serious accident was averted.

The man, who was convicted under the Radiation Protection Act, avoided a possible three-month prison sentence because he has no previous criminal record.

In a similar case in the US in 2005, a New Jersey man was arrested for pointing a green laser pointer at a small jet flying overhead.

According to doctors, laser pointers, often used as highlighters by teachers, are generally safe to use if they are less than 5 milliwatts.

However, much more powerful devices are available on the internet,of up 100 mW and there have been several cases recently where they have caused permanent eye damage.

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