A HAMPSHIRE man has been charged with putting an aircraft in danger by shooting a laser beam at a plane.

Police have charged 19-year-old David Williams of Cuckoo Lane, Stubbington following an incident involving a 'laser pen' at the former Daedalus airfield at Lee-On-Solent.

A police spokeswoman said: "Williams was arrested by police after a laser pen beam was repeatedly aimed at the Hampshire Constabulary Air Support Unit plane, which was taking off from its airfield base at 11.13pm on June 5 this year.

"The beam affected the pilot's night vision, but he was able to take the plane to a higher altitude and the plane's observer officers used the aircraft's equipment to search the area below."

Police teams on the ground were directed to a nearby park where the Williams was stopped by police officers and today he was charged with the offence under the provisions of the Air Navigation Order 2005, Article 73.

It is the first time that this charge has been brought against a person in Hampshire.

Williams is due to appear before Fareham Magistrates Court on Thursday, July 24.