A BACKPACKER who was arrested and put in prison in Thailand for picking up a mobile phone he found on the floor, has finally returned home to Poole.

Chris Dodd, a 29-year-old tattoo artist, had only just arrived in Thailand when he was arrested and spent ten days in prison. He had faced a five-year prison term if convicted but the charges against him were eventually waived so he could return home. He was released on bail after family and friends raised £20,000.

Mr Dodd said he found the phone just as he was about to get into the taxi after arriving at Chiang Mai airport. He looked around to see if he could spot someone who may have dropped it but could not see anyone, so he decided to take with him to the hostel to try to trace the owner from there. Mr Dodd was later arrested after police had seen him on CCTV picking it up.

He said: "I was stripped naked, sent in, given a blanket. Then the next thing you know you're being taken into the cells where they house massive amounts of people.

"Nobody spoke English. It was really intimidating. You just have to fight for a space on the floor and you have people's legs all over you."