A man who was slapped with a huge fine for breaking lockdown rules by driving 20 miles for his favourite curry will be treated to a year’s supply of butter chicken.
Noel Atkinson set out on a 32km (19m) journey when he had a craving for his favourite dish – but he was caught by cops flouting coronavirus restrictions in Melbourne, Australia.
The 48-year-old drove from one side of the city to the other to pick up his $16.90 (£9.54) order before being hit with a fine that was 97 times the cost of his curry.
Atkinson was slapped with a whopping $1,652 (£931) fine for his curry run, making it a very expensive takeaway.
Following the accidentally extravagant dinner, the curry-lover has been compensated by the restaurant.
The curry house has promised the loyal customer a year’s supply of free butter chicken.
Mr Atkinson, who is half-Indian, told Times of India he had to drive that far because it was after 11pm and all the restaurants in his area were closed.
“I wanted to have butter chicken,” he said.
“I grew up eating Indian food since my mother is from Ambala. I finally found one restaurant that was open but there was no home delivery to my place due to the distance, so I decided to go there.”
Atkinson was pulled over by police just metres from the restaurant, according to local reports.
He said officers followed him for some time to make sure he was returning home after he got fined.
The driver was one of 74 people caught flouting rules in Melbourne in a 24 hour period, as the total of fines teeters over $1million (£563,000).
Melbourne was placed under restrictions again earlier this month with police and health officials encouraging residents to stay home.
Desi Dhaba, the home of Atkinson’s favourite chicken, has since posted on Instagram urging people not to break the rules.
They said: “Don’t risk a fine, we’ll deliver butter chicken that’s divine.”
“We kinda get it … the lengths one can go to get that perfect butter chicken, especially during lockdown.
“Werribee you don’t need to risk a fine for a delightful Sunday night dinner.”
The restaurant said it was not supporting people breaking the rules.
“We are only being compassionate for Noel and his love for our food as these are hard times for all and our empathy is towards all,” the eatery said.
Melbourne is under restrictions at the moment as it tries to stem the rising tide of coronavirus cases in the city.