Briton fined for Singapore truck caper: report

SINGAPORE, Singapore, April 24, 2009 (AFP) - A British engineer has been fined 6,000 US dollars for stealing and crashing a truck on a night out with friends in Singapore, a report said Friday.

Neil Arthur, 37, was walking back to his hotel in November after drinking in Orchard Towers, a building notorious for four floors of bars, when he saw a truck with its key still in the ignition, the Straits Times newspaper said.

After the driver tried to stop him, Arthur drove off and hit a signboard and a lamppost. He then reversed, crashed into another lamppost and flipped the truck over, suffering bruises and cuts, the report said.

Arthur's defence lawyer said the father of two, who could have been jailed for theft and drink driving, thought he was being pursued by unknown men.

Arthur, who was in Singapore for business meetings, expressed regret and asked to be allowed to return to his family in Scotland.

In addition to paying the fine, Arthur also had to compensate the state and the truck driver 38,000 US dollars for the damage caused and was banned from driving any vehicle in Singapore for two years, the report added.

His blood-alcohol level was found to be 1.5 times the legal limit for driving, according to the newspaper.

Court officials could not be immediately reached to confirm details of the case, which was heard Thursday.

Source: AFP

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