A CHARD man has appeared in court after shining a laser pointer at a police helicopter.

Marc Webster, 45, of Furnham Road, pleaded guilty at South Somerset Magistrates Court in Yeovil on Friday to wrecklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or person in an aircraft.

The police helicopter was called to Chard at about 1.15am on Tuesday, August 30, to investigate car crime and arrived at 1.30am.

The court was told that at 1.45am Webster was lying in bed at home and heard the sound of the helicopter flying overhead.

He picked up a laser pen from his window sill and a single laser beam was shone into the air for around five minutes.

The court heard that helicopter captain Paul Maddox was unable to continue his task and feared the potential effects should the beam be shone into his eyes.

Two more officers aboard the helicopter were similarly dazzled.

Two officers were deployed on the ground and seized a laser pen from the defendant’s bedroom.

In police interview Webster said he pointed the laser at the helicopter to see if it would reach, but did not think it did.

He said it had been a crazy day after he went out in the morning to score some heroin, but believes he was instead given ketamine, which didn’t treat him well.

Webster claimed he pointed the laser for no more than ten to 15 seconds and then put it down on the window sill, leaving it switched on and forgetting about it.

He said he usually used the laser to point at trees and scare birds away, and agreed that his actions may have been wreckless.

Webster, who will appear for sentencing at Taunton Crown Court at 10am on Friday, October 14, has been released on unconditional police bail.