Teenager ‘shone laser at police helicopter’

Karl Barkley was arrested soon after the alleged offence
Karl Barkley was arrested soon after the alleged offence

A teenager has appeared in court accused of endangering a police helicopter by shining a laser at it in the skies above Belfast.

Karl Barkley allegedly targeted the aircraft as it monitored crowds attending the Northern Ireland-Germany football match at Windsor Park on October 5.

The 19-year-old defendant, of Cambrai Street in the city, was arrested later that night.

At Belfast Magistrates’ Court he faced charges of directing a light at the helicopter to dazzle or distract the pilot, and endangering the safety of an aircraft.

Asked if he understood the alleged offences, Barkley nodded and replied: “Yes.”

A PSNI constable confirmed he could connect the accused to the charges.

Defence solicitor Billy McNulty put no questions to the officer during the brief hearing.

According to a prosecution lawyer the case is likely to proceed by indictment to the Crown Court.

Releasing Barkley on continuing bail, District Judge Fiona Bagnall requested a full update for his next appearance in December.