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Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 11:35 GMT
Bondi beach shark attack 'a hoax'
Sunbathers on Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach is Australia's most famous stretch of sand
A man who said he was attacked by a shark at Australia's Bondi Beach is in jail facing robbery charges and may have concocted his story, reports say.

Scott Wright's tale of how he escaped the shark by punching it on the nose made headlines last week.

He had deep gouges on one arm but now Australian newspapers claim that he hurt himself on a glass window several days before the alleged shark attack.

Mr Wright was reportedly later arrested for theft at a backpacker's hostel.

The 34-year-old, who had been sleeping in a cave at the beach, told reporters that he had gone swimming at night when he came across the shark.

He said: "[It] attacked me, grabbed hold of my arm and wouldn't let go. So I ended up punching him in the nose and trying to fight him off.

"I thought I was a goner, I thought I was going to die."

His wounds needed dozens of stitches, and a night in a Sydney hospital.

It was believed to be the first shark attack at Bondi Beach for 70 years.

But Australian newspapers report that he may have concocted the story to cover up his alleged criminal activities.

Police said the apparent shark attack had not been reported to them, and they were unsure of how Mr Wright had sustained his injuries.

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