A factory worker from Darlington in County Durham had a bit of a shock when he opened his monthly mobile phone bill.

Ian Simpson, 29, was more than a little shocked to find out he had managed to tot up a £27,322 mobile bill, according to the Daily Mirror.

Simpson had allegedly managed to build up such huge costs by wiring his mobile up to a laptop to download TV shows.

He later said that he did not realise that his £41.50-a-month Vodafone deal didn't include unlimited web use.

But his first bill made him only too aware that his web-use hadn't been unlimited after all. The bill had hundreds of extra charges for online use - some at £18 a minute. Simpson said: "My mate told me how to wire my mobile to my laptop as a modem. It meant I could download faster than on the handset and get a proper internet connection in my flat".

"I probably downloaded 20 or 30 TV shows and four albums. I assumed it'd be OK, but they cut me off. I rang up and they said I owed them nearly £30,000."

"If I'd known it would cost so much I wouldn't have done it."

Simpson told the national rag that upon opening the bill, he thought he would face bankrupcy.

He said: "I just laughed out loud. How on earth could I afford to pay that?"

Vodafone has since pointed out to Simpson that the rules of his package do clearly state that he has a limit of 120 megabytes of downloads - designed for casual use to check emails, browse and download songs.

A spokesman told the Daily Mirror: "Few customers exceed the fair usage. But it seems clear Ian has run up these charges legitimately".

And it seems that Simpson is to be let off with a warning.

Vodafone told the tabloid: "The intensity of Ian's downloading was such that by the time our systems flagged anything up he had already racked up a massive bill".

"Our advice would be to never use a mobile as a modem. We will try to come to some sympathetic arrangement. And we hope he won't make the same mistake again."