A MAN who shone a laser into the cockpit of Police Scotland’s helicopter just weeks before it crashed into a busy Glasgow pub has avoided prison.
Grant Jones, 24, was yesterday given 240 hours community service for flashing a bright green light into the cockpit of the helicopter on 1 October last year.
The helicopter, which was based at a heliport in Finnieston, Glasgow, crashed into the Clutha Bar on 29 November.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court had earlier heard how on the night of 1 October the pilot was forced to turn the craft away from the laser in order to avoid his sight being affected.
His colleagues onboard used heat cameras to track Jones, who escaped into a house in Silverknowes Crescent, Edinburgh.
They alerted officers on the ground who then tracked Jones down and found a laser pen in his possession before arresting him.
Jones, of Silverknowes Crescent, Edinburgh, pleaded guilty last month to breaching the Civil Aviation Act.
He was ordered to perform the community service within six months.