Mandurah man (80) shone a light into an “annoying” police plane

Stock pic.
Stock pic.

A MANDURAH pensioner used a mirror to shine light into the cockpit of a police plane and caused the pilot to become dazzled for 30 seconds.

Declan Daly (80), who appeared in Mandurah Magistrates Court on Friday , pleaded guilty to causing fear or alarm with a light to people in a conveyance or other.

Police prosecutor Brian Sutherland said Daly was at his Mandurah home when the incident occurred on April 15.

Police said Daly heard a police plane circling above his home at 1.23pm. The police plane was conducting duties at the time.

Daly went outside his home with a mirror and held the object towards the light.

The mirror caused the sunlight to reflect and penetrate the cockpit of the plane, causing a distraction to the aircraft and dazzling the pilot for 30 seconds.

A witness recorded Daly during the incident. Police then located him and the mirror and he made admissions to the charge.

Duty lawyer Claire Hay said Daly accepted he knew it was a police plane and the consequences he caused.

However she said Daly did not accept the physics of the sun reflecting in the mirror directly into the cabin.

“Why wouldn’t it?” Magistrate Anne Longden said.

Ms Hay said Daly was trying to send a message to the police plane that what they were doing was “annoying”.

“The incident has caused him anxiety – he wakes up thinking about it and goes to sleep thinking about it,” she said.

Ms Hay said Daly suffered from Misophonia, a condition where people are sensitive to certain sounds.

Ms Hay said Daly felt rage and panic when hearing the police plane and he believed it was circling for an hour and a half.

Prosecution said the flying aircraft was distracted by the light and Daly’s offence was serious.

Magistrate Longden said the offence was unusual but serious.

“The consequences could’ve been catastrophic and terrible but fortunately nothing terrible happened,” she said.

Due to Daly’s remorse, no previous record, age and poor health, Magistrate Longden fined him $2000.