Man avoids immediate prison sentence in laser pen case defended by Eddison Flint

November 6, 2019

In a case defended by Eddison Flint from Exchange Chambers, a man who pointed a laser into the cockpit of a West Yorkshire Police helicopter has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

James Kenworthy was arrested at his home in Kirkstall after he admitted shining the laser pen at the aircraft from his attic window.

Leeds Crown Court heard the pilot had to take evasive action and put on protective goggles as the laser “pulsed” inside the aircraft.

The pilot managed to point the helicopter’s camera towards the house where the laser beam was coming from.

Police officers on the ground arrived at Kenworthy’s home ten minutes later and arrested him.

Kenworthy immediately admitted to police that he was the culprit. He also admitted to pointing the laser at aeroplanes as they approached Leeds Bradford Airport.

Kenworthy, of Adwick Place, Kirkstall, pleaded guilty to an offence of pointing or directing a laser towards an aircraft.

Eddison Flint, mitigating, said Kenworthy initially thought the helicopter was a drone when he first aimed the laser but then realised it was an aircraft.

Probation officer Mick Berry said Kenworthy suffered from mental health issues due to his prolonged use of amphetamines.

Mr Berry also said Kenworthy was also struggling to cope following the death of his mother.

Kenworthy was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.  He was also made the subject of a six-month drug treatment order.

Eddison Flint was instructed by Kenton Sargeant at ABR Solicitors.

Eddison has recently become a member of the criminal team at Exchange Chambers.