A visitor who flew a drone near to the Manx Grand Prix course was today fined £3,000.

Thomas Bernard Rudd, of Boulby, Loftus, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to the offence and was also ordered to pay £125 prosecution costs by Deputy High Bailiff Rachael Braidwood.

Prosecuting advocate Rebecca Cubbon told the court that police received a report of a drone flying near Station Road in Ballaugh, yesterday (Augist 28), at 4.15pm.

When officers arrived they found Rudd sitting in a BMW with the DJI drone.

During an interview, he said he thought that he had been flying the drone more than the permitted 1,000 metres away from the course, but CCTV footage showed it landing around 200 metres from the course.

In court, he pleaded guilty to a charge of being the remote pilot of a small unmanned aircraft which was flown within 1,000 metres of the Manx Grand Prix course.

Defence advocate Casey Houareau said that Rudd had come here for the racing and said that that he had no idea he was committing an offence.

Ms Houareau said that the aircraft had only been up for 15 minutes, taking footage of the countryside, as no racing was taking place at the time.

The advocate said that Rudd’s arrest and spending a night in a cell had been a shock to him.

Deputy High Bailiff Ms Braidwood told the defendant: ‘The legislation exists for a reason. Drones pose a risk to riders and helicopters that operate in the area.

‘The use of a drone in these circumstances can lead to disaster.’

Rudd must pay the fine and costs forthwith or face up to 120 days in prison.