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Australia: Three years jail for aiming laser at helicopter

23-year-old Lanfranco Baldetti has been sentenced to almost three years in jail. He was one of the first Australians to be prosecuted for shining a laser at an aircraft.

The South Australian pleaded guilty to prejudicing the safe operation of an aircraft. Judge David Smith described Baldetti's actions as a disaster in the making, and sentenced him to two years and 10 months jail, with a non-parole period of 10 months.
In June 2007, he shone a laser at a police helicopter as it flew at low level in the Port Adelaide area.

The pilot was temporarily blinded by the incident.

Baldetti later blamed the pilot for shining the helicopter spotlight at him first.

Last week the New South Wales premier, Morris Iemma, said anyone who shone laser pointers at planes was potentially committing mass murder.

From Australian Broadcasting Corporation