A soldier in China was fined 3,000 yuan (around $470) after he helped an elderly man who had collapsed in the street, the defence department said

The National Defence website said Thursday the soldier was fined in southern Hainan province. However, an investigation proved his innocence and he got his money back, the Shanghai Daily reported.

The ministry of health recently issued new guidelines for helping elderly people who fall down, saying the action to be taken is different in differing circumstances.

If the elderly people remain conscious, one should first ask whether they have headache or feel weak in their hands and feet. Raising them up could worsen their illness, which might be linked to cerebral haemorrhage.

The incident took place when the soldier was cycling to his camp and came across an old man lying on the ground. The man was almost unconscious. The soldier called for paramedics and went with him to hospital. The patient recovered, but his relatives said the soldier was guilty of running over the man and demanded compensation.

The soldier paid up, but when his commanders investigated they found several witnesses who all testified to his innocence. The family later apologised and returned his money.