A 25-year-old man has been acquitted of intentionally or recklessly endangering a garda helicopter by shining a laser light in its direction and temporarily affecting the pilot's vision.

Anthony Gaffney, of Cloonmore Avenue, Tallaght had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct creating a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another on 12 September 2009.

Judge Patricia Ryan told the jury during her charge that it was not the State's case that Mr Gaffney had acted intentionally but that he acted recklessly.

The judge said that the legal definition of recklessness was a conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk.

She told the jury they must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had adverted to and disregarded the risk.

The jury found Mr Gaffney not guilty of the single charge on day two of the trial following one hour and 34 minutes deliberation.

In his statement to gardaí, which was read out in court during the trial, Mr Gaffney admitted shining the laser at the helicopter, but said he was unaware of the harmful effect his actions could have.

He told gardai: 'I wasn't trying to dazzle the pilot. I definitely didn't mean to cause any hassle. I apologise for wasting police time'

Garda David O'Riordan agreed with Mr Vincent Heneghan BL, defending, that Mr Gaffney fully cooperated with gardaí and immediately apologised to the crew of the helicopter when the potential consequences of his actions were explained to him.

He also accepted that Mr Gaffney told gardaí that he did not recklessly intend to cause any harm, that he 'made no attempt at evasion' and was at all times polite to gardaí.

Video evidence, taken on night imagery equipment aboard the aircraft, was shown to the court that showed a green light coming from the back of a house, which was later identified as being Mr Gaffney's.