A British holidaymaker threatened with a huge fine for using laser pens with his children has insisted: “We weren’t pointing them at planes.”
Edward Napp, 46, had a run-in with Spanish police after an off-duty officer spotted them shining beams from their hotel balcony in Torremolinos, near Malaga.
The country’s National Police warned last week they could face fines of up to 600,000 euros (£540,000) after several pilots complained they were disturbed by green rays as they came in to land.
Mr Napp believes the matter has come to an end after he returned to his home near Chelmsford, in Essex, with his two sons, aged 11 and 15, having been released without arrest or charge.
The businessman, who has an airfield at his farm, told the Press Association: “It just seems like it’s been blown out of all proportion.”
“I do appreciate if there’s a pilot trying to land his plane and there’s a laser pen, it’s going to cause problems, it’s obvious.”
“We were about five miles away from the airport. The only planes we could ever see from the hotel were taking off, or the ones flying at 30,000 feet going somewhere else.”
Mr Napp said he bought the laser pointers from the hotel shop before trying them out from the balcony, but denied doing anything dangerous.
“We weren’t pointing them at planes, we were just messing about pointing them down at the floor,” he said.
“They were shone into the air just to see how far they got when we initially got them. The kids were just playing with them.”
Mr Napp said police took him to the station with his two sons after an off-duty officer took photographs of them.
He added: “We just sat in there for half an hour, they came in and said, ‘you’ll be fined’.”
“Half an hour later, he came out again, gave us our passports and said, ‘right, you go now’.”
“I would like to make it clear we are not on bail, we were not arrested. We had the laser pens confiscated.”
But Mr Napp said the incident had “put a bit of a dampener” on the holiday, adding: “Although I was only in there for an hour, sitting there in a foreign country, we didn’t know what we were doing there.”
A spokesman from Spain’s National Police confirmed no arrests were made.