Two helicopter pilots and at least three police officers are scheduled to be witnesses in the trial of a man accused of illegal use of a laser.
In Summary Court on Wednesday, defense attorney John Furniss said Javonnie Silburn would admit “one shining by the defendant to the helicopter.”
Crown counsel Emma Hutchinson said that basis for a guilty plea was not acceptable, so the matter would have to go to trial. No other details were discussed in open court and Magistrate Philippa McFarlane set the trial for Sept. 13 and 14. She marked it as a priority.
Specifics of the charge against Silburn are that on April 29, 2015, at East End, he used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior within the sight or hearing of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
A search of Cayman Compass archives did not reveal any incident involving a helicopter and laser in April 2015. In November 2015, however, police issued a warning after an incident in West Bay. A press release stated that the action of endangering an aircraft is an offense in the Cayman Islands that is taken seriously and any offender could face imprisonment. The release pointed out that in addition to posing a risk to aircraft crew, such an action distracts them from their operational tasks and diverts resources away from other duties.