Chinese man's life sentence reduced for ATM theft

After a massive outcry on t'Internet, a Chinese man has seen his life sentence for ATM theft reduced to just five years.

The man - a security guard who was found guilty of drawing more than £12,000 from a faulty ATM - was retried last week by the Guangdong Intermediate People's Court in southern China.

The court also ruled that Xu Ting, who has already served 10 months for his crime, must pay a fine of around £1,400 and pay back the money he withdrew during 171 visits to the ATM in April, 2006.

Newswire reports suggest that it's highly doubtful the impoverished migrant worker will be able to pay the fine and compensation to the bank, his father said.

This could require the young man to pay part of his wages to the court for life even though, by some accounts, the bank losses were covered by the ATM manufacturer.

Apparently, after drawing his dosh, Xu spent a year living the high life on the run, although some of his money was stolen by a thief, and rest was spent on lotto tickets plus a failed company.

It was only when the money ran out that Xu applied for a job and then failed the police ID check...