A 42-year-old man from Nottingham, according to the Metropolitan Police, has become the first person in the UK to be successfully prosecuted and convicted on drone-related charges. Nigel Wilson pleaded guilty to nine offences of flying drones over buildings or congested areas—acts that are illegal under the Air Navigation Order 2009. Wilson was sentenced to a fine of £1,800, and is now barred from owning, flying, or helping anyone else fly a drone for the next two years.
In late 2014, Wilson flew drones over a number of sports stadia around the country, including the Emirates stadium in north London and the Etihad stadium in Manchester. According to the Met Police report, during a September 2014 incident at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium, Wilson “flew the drone close to mounted officers at the match, startling the horses on a busy walkway outside the stadium. Officers struggled to regain control as the horses reared and narrowly avoided hitting members of the public walking nearby.”
Wilson was also found to have flown drones “over or near” some important London landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Shard, and HMS Belfast.