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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Man charged in Blaine paint attack
David Blaine
Security has been stepped up around Blaine's box
A 28-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage for allegedly throwing pink paint at the box illusionist David Blaine has made his temporary home.

Henry Cookson of Fulham, west London, was arrested in the early hours of Friday at the site of Blaine's stunt.

Blaine allegedly woke to find the clear Perspex box he plans to spend 44 days in without food splattered with pink paint which was fired in balloons.

Unemployed Mr Cookson is to appear at Tower Bridge Magistrates on 10 October.

Blaine began his stunt 22 days ago, suspended by a crane by the River Thames.

But as well as attracting onlookers in their thousands to the site near Tower Bridge, he has also had to endure people trying to keep him awake day and night by throwing missiles or making noise.

Others have also been teasing the illusionist by cooking food underneath him, or stripping off.

One man has already been charged with attempting to cut his water supply, the only liquid or food he is ingesting throughout the 44 days.

Police bill

Such has been the fascination for people trying to disrupt Blaine's efforts to sleep though the long hours spent dangling in the air that extra police have been drafted in.

But the US magician could exit the box on 19 October to find himself saddled with a huge bill for the policing of the event.

"We have asked the people who have been staging the event to pay for the policing. It is important to say that there has been a considerable expense," Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens said.

Blaine's exploits are being filmed for TV shows on Channel 4 and Sky One.


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