Edinburgh photographer fined £500 for proposing by drone

A wedding photographer who proposed to his girlfriend by drone has been fined after he was caught flying the craft over Edinburgh city centre. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
A wedding photographer who proposed to his girlfriend by drone has been fined after he was caught flying the craft over Edinburgh city centre. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
0
Have your say

A wedding photographer who proposed to his girlfriend by drone has been fined after he was caught flying the craft over Edinburgh city centre.

David Louden, 31, hit the headlines two years ago after he got down on one knee on an East Lothian beach and asked partner Lori Jeromson to marry him.

During the romantic gesture the loved-up snapper guided his four-propeller drone down to the beachside with an engagement ring attached.

But now the self-employed photographer has been left red-faced after he was caught flying the unmanned surveillance aircraft near to the capital’s historic Royal Mile last summer.

Louden was seen manoeuvring the two-foot wide drone up and down a Cockburn Street and taking overhead pictures of the city centre.

Shocked council workers spotted the four-propelled drone passing the second floor office window of the City Chambers building at around 10.55am on July 5 last year.

They watched on as Louden zoomed the drone up and down the length of the busy city centre street before packing it away into his car and driving off.

Read more: This £5m castle in Ravelston has been named alongside the UK’s most ‘unloved’ homes

Louden appeared in the dock at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to breaching aviation laws by being in charge of of an unmanned surveillance aircraft and flying it within 150m of a congested area.

Prosecutor Clare Crompton told the court three Edinburgh City Council employees saw the drone pass their second floor window and was described as flying at “the height of the City Chambers”.

Ms Crompton said: “They saw a drone flying outside the building which was around two feet in width and had four propellers.

“The drone flew up to the height of the [City Chambers] building while flying down Cockburn Street and then back up the street in the direction of the High Street.”

Ms Crompton said the council workers saw a man standing on the street below “holding a device and operating the flying device “.

Dad-of-two Louden then landed the drone nearby before packing it into his car and driving to his home in Musselburgh, East Lothian.

The council employees noted down his registration and called in the police.

Solicitor Euan Gosney, defending, said his client had been taking photographs of the area with a camera attached to the drone and had been “ignorant of the law” regarding the regulations.

Mr Gosney added the drone had been seized by the police and stressed the point the incident had taken place in July last year - months before a drone caused widespread disruption at Heathrow Airport last month.

Sheriff Peter McCormack said: “You have pled guilty to a breach of an article of the Air Navigation Order 2016.

“There are limitations to the use of drones without permission from the Civil Aviation Authority.

“I am going to impose a fine for this matter as ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

Louden was fined £500.

Read more: Video: Peter Capaldi proves he’s a Starman at Edinburgh sci-fi con