Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 13:26 UK

Jail after laser shone onto plane

Cardiff International Airport
The plane was carrying 52 people as it prepared to land in Cardiff

A 21-year-old man has been jailed for shining a laser light at a passenger plane preparing to land.

Hossein Hosseiny briefly shone a "dazzling green light" into the cockpit of an aircraft carrying 52 people as it approached Cardiff airport in March.

Hosseiny, of Llanrumney, Cardiff, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to endangering the safety of an aircraft and supplying drugs.

He was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court to a total of 10 months in jail.

The pilot said Hosseiny's actions had caused a "momentary loss of concentration" due to a "dazzling green light" as the plane approached the airport on a flight from Dublin.

The consequences of such an action could have been catastrophic
Judge Eleri Rees

He immediately reported the incident to air traffic control and Hosseiny, originally from Afghanistan, was arrested soon after in the nearby Porthkerry Park area of Barry.

Prosecutor David Thomas told the court that, during a search, officers found Hosseiny intoxicated with a friend in a car.

Cannabis was also found in the vehicle which Hosseiny later admitted supplying to his friend.

During interview, the defendant told police he had taken to selling cannabis as a means of funding his own habit.

Jeremy Jenkins, defending, said Hosseiny entered the UK in December 2002 at the age of 15 and became an asylum seeker.

The following year his application for asylum was refused after which he was granted exceptional leave to remain in the UK.

He has since been served with a deportation notice.

Mr Jenkins said his client initially found work in Swindon before settling in south Wales where he now had a heavily pregnant girlfriend.

'Landed safely'

Referring to the laser, the barrister added: "It didn't follow the aircraft - it was as if it [the plane] passed in and out of the beam."

Judge Eleri Rees said: "On March 8, intoxicated with alcohol and drugs, you pointed a green laser pen in various directions when an aircraft was approaching Cardiff airport.

"The pilot said you shone it into the cockpit, albeit for a few seconds, and it caused a loss of concentration.

"The consequences of such an action could have been catastrophic. Fortunately there was no catastrophe and the aircraft landed safely."

She added: "Those who deliberately aim such pens into the cockpit of an aircraft or helicopter should expect a custodial sentence."

For supplying drugs, Hosseiny was given a six-month jail sentence. He was given a consecutive sentence of four months for endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Judge Rees also ordered that the 79 days Hosseiny spent on remand since his arrest be deducted from his sentence.

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