Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

Man jailed for 'blinding' pilot

Durham Tees Valley Airport
The plane landed safely at Durham Tees Valley Airport

A Teesside man who shone a laser pen into an aircraft, temporarily blinding the pilot, has been sent to a young offenders' institution for four months.

Ben Philip Vout targeted a KLM flight coming in to land with 40 passengers at Durham Tees Valley Airport last August.

He also shone the device at a police helicopter sent to investigate.

Vout, 19, and from Heslop Street in Thornaby had earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Teesside Crown Court was told that the KLM flight had to be landed by the co-pilot.

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