herald

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Man accused of flashing laser at Garda chopper

A YOUNG man accused of repeatedly flashing a green laser at a Garda helicopter in a manner which could have caused the pilot to crash has been sent forward for trial.

Anthony Gaffney (25) could have temporarily blinded the pilot with the laser, a court heard.

He is facing trial by judge and jury in the Circuit Court after a judge said the matter was too serious for the District Court.

The accused, of Cloonmore Avenue in Tallaght, appeared before Tallaght District Court charged with endangerment, specifically behaving in a manner which could have caused substantial risk or death to another person.

The DPP had directed summary disposal of the matter in the District Court but a judge refused jurisdiction.

Garda Sergeant Carmel Henry previously said it would be alleged that a helicopter from the Garda Air Support Unit was on Blessington Road shortly after 1am on September 12 last.



Missing

Sgt Henry claimed that gardai were searching for a missing person, and the Air Support Unit was called out to assist them.

The sergeant said it would be claimed that, during the search, a green laser was repeatedly flashed up at the helicopter pilot, and over the helicopter.

Sgt Henry claimed that such an instrument could interfere with the vision of the pilot. She said, in the worst case scenario, the pilot would be temporarily blinded by the laser and crash the helicopter.

The court heard that it would be alleged that gardai located the source of the flashing light as Gaffney's home.

The State solicitor said the book of evidence was ready, and Gaffney was to be sent forward to the next sittings of Dublin Circuit Court.

The accused was remanded on continuing bail in his own bond of €500, and legal aid was assigned to solicitor Eddie O'Connor.

hnews@herald.ie

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