Man who shone laser at police ‘copter avoids jail

Laer pen caused pilot to change course. Picture:.Kenny Smith
Laer pen caused pilot to change course. Picture:.Kenny Smith
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AN Edinburgh man who flashed a laser into the cockpit of Police Scotland’s helicopter just weeks before it crashed into a busy Glasgow pub has avoided prison.

Grant Jones,24, of Silverknowes was handed 240 hours community service today for flashing a bright green light into the ‘copter’s cockpit on October 1 last year.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court had earlier heard how the pilot was forced to turn the craft away from the laser in order to avoid his sight being affected by the intense ray.

His colleagues - who were sat beside him - used heat cameras to track Jones who escaped into a house in Silverknowes Crescent, Edinburgh.

They alerted officers on the ground who then tracked Jones down and found a laser pen in his possession before arresting him.

However, on Monday, Sheriff Nigel Ross ordered Jones to perform community service because his actions were linked to his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.