A YOUNG man has been charged with shining a laser pen at a police helicopter as it hovered over the town in the early hours.

The bright green beam was allegedly flashed directly at a pilot who was flying the regional police air support helicopter over Newton-le-Willows shortly after midnight on Saturday, October 22.

The crew, which were at about 1,200 feet and included two police constables, swiftly directed the hi-tech chopper’s powerful camera to the ground where it pinpointed the suspected source of the laser.

Officers in Newton-le-Willows were scrambled to an address where they discovered a four-inch long black laser pen.

They arrested a man who was questioned at St Helens Police Station.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has warned in the past the green lasers pode a "serious problem" and can temporarily blind or dazzle pilots.

  • Daniel Checkley, 21, of Oak Avenue, Newton-le-Willows, has since been charged with recklessly endangering the safety of an aircraft.

He has been bailed to face St Helens Magistrates’ Court next month.