Frenchman convicted of shining laser into cockpits
A 20-year-old Frenchman was given a six-month suspended sentence on Tuesday for shining a laser pointer into the cockpits of airliners last weekend as they landed in Paris Orly airport.
The accused told a court in the Paris suburb of Creteil that he merely wanted to have some fun with the new "toy" he bought on a trip to Thailand and that he "didn't realise that that was going to put lives in danger."
But a lawyer for EasyJet, which along with Air France was a civil plaintiff in the case, noted that "landing is a crucial phase and there have been crashes caused by less that that."
The man was arrested Sunday in a car park near the busy international airport, south of Paris.
Twenty-one Air France pilots complained of having lasers shone into their cockpits in French airports between September 2009 and April this year, the court in Creteil heard.
© 2010 AFP