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Swede in epic journey to pay Scottish traffic fine

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17:17 CET+01:00
Family tragedy, waist deep snow, and the North Sea were not enough to keep Andreas Bäck from answering a summons to appear in a Scottish court this week.

The 26-year old resident of Vemdalen in west-central Sweden left his recently widowed father for what turned out to be a grueling journey back to Scotland in order to pay his debt to society.

His offence? Driving without insurance.

After trudging through waist deep snow in Vemdalen, Bäck endured a 210-kilometer bus trip to Mora, where he caught a domestic flight to Stockholm.

He then took a bus to Skavsta airport near Nyköping whereupon he was forced to wait 12 hours for a flight to Prestwick airport near Glasgow.

Bäck's adventures didn't end there.

After arriving in Scotland around 9 o'clock on Wednesday evening, he found the car rental desks were closed so was forced to spend the night in the terminal.

But the persistent Swede eventually rented a car and made the three hour trip to the district court in Fort William, where he faced a judge so dumbfounded that he waived the fine on the spot.

“This is almost unbelievable. People from this very town can't turn up for court on time but you managed to do it from north Sweden. Due to the exceptional circumstances, I will take the unusual course of not fining you,” judge Colin MacKay said to Bäck, according to the Daily Record newspaper.

“Despite the summons to attend the court today, I think if you had phoned from Sweden and explained where you lived you would have been excused a personal appearance."

Bäck had been living and working in Scotland until December, when he returned to Sweden to be with his dying mother.

In November, he was on his way to the motor vehicle department to renew his car's registration following a two-month period during which he hadn't driven at all.

On his way, police stopped him for having cancelled his car insurance while the car had been out of use.

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