A DAD confronted the pilot of a drone he believed had been flown too low over his garden, where his young daughter was playing in a paddling pool.

Peter Wells, 57, kicked the £1,200 drone down the road after it was brought into land, Swindon Magistrates’ Court heard.

Prosecutor Emma Charleton told magistrates the drone’s owner, who has a licence to fly the item and has lived in the same house for several decades, had had to bring the kit into land slowly on April 9 last year in order to avoid hitting various obstacles. The drone was not filming or photographing its surroundings.

Wells came out of his house, accusing the pilot of flying the drone over his property while his daughter was in a paddling pool in the garden. He kicked the drone “a few metres along the road, causing damage”, Ms Charleton said.

An altercation between the two men ensued and police were called, although no charges had been brought.

The defendant made admissions when he was interviewed by the police.

Wells, of Hurst Crescent, Pinehurst, pleaded guilty to a single charge of causing criminal damage.

Harriet Heard, defending, said that although the drone pilot may have had a licence, those with drones are asked to fly with consideration for others.

Her client had asked the man not to fly over his property on at least five occasions. “On this occasion it was flying outside of his window for long enough for Mr Wells to go and get his camera to film it,” Ms Heard said.

She questioned whether the drone was still worth £1,200, noting that it was already damaged. Her client, a former site manager, had been out of work since the pandemic and was struggling financially.

Wells had spent the night in police cells, having been arrested on a warrant after letters summonsing him to court were sent to the wrong address.

Magistrates imposed a six month conditional discharge and ordered he pay £50 compensation.