A 17-year-old who shone a laser light at a police helicopter has met its crew to apologise for putting their lives in danger.
The teenager, called Dennis, met the crew of the Eurocopter EC 135T2I, which is used by Gwent Police, at its RAF St Athan base.
Dennis apologised for shining a laser pen at the helicopter in July this year as it passed overhead in Aberbargoed.
The meeting was set up by the local Youth Offending Service so the teen could appreciate how serious his actions were.
He met with and apologised to two of the aircrew, PC Mark Chamberlain and pilot Captain James Grenfell.
Following the meeting, Captain James Grenfell said: “From our meeting, Dennis has learned how dangerous this type of incident can be, and I hope that others will understand the same lesson. After speaking to him, I felt that it was not done maliciously, and I fully accept his apology.”
The Youth Offending Service sets up such meetings so that offenders cam take responsibilty for their actions without them being humiliated.
Councillor Lyn Ackerman, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “Restorative justice meetings such as this one can be very positive experiences for all concerned.
“They really can help reduce stress and fear among victims, and can also be very effective in helping to motivate young offenders to turn away from a life of crime.”