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Last Updated:  Friday, 7 March, 2003, 11:27 GMT
Beans on toes puzzles police
The man poured beans over the woman's feet
A female shop assistant had beans and other foodstuffs poured over her feet by a man who falsely claimed he was raising money for charity.

The man entered a shop in the New Town area of Edinburgh and told the woman he was performing bizarre stunts for Comic Relief.

He asked the young woman to close her eyes and guess what foods he was covering her feet with.

He then poured various tinned foods over her feet, including baked beans.

The man had said he was being sponsored to carry out the stunts but there were no witnesses with him and no money was handed to him
Police spokeswoman
The man, believed to be in his early 30s, took a number of photographs of her feet before leaving.

Lothian and Borders Police said that when the woman told her friends what had happened in the incident on Tuesday afternoon, she realised she had been duped.

The woman was not assaulted and no money was taken but police have warned the public to be on the alert and voiced concern about the man's bizarre behaviour.

A spokeswoman said: "It was only on reflection she realised that perhaps she had been conned and should not have taken part.

"We are not clear what the motive was but apparently it was not a genuine attempt to raise funds for charity.

"We are keen to speak to any other women who may have been approached by this man."

'Alarming behaviour'

The spokeswoman said the shop assistant was "very embarrassed".

She said: "The man had said he was being sponsored to carry out the stunts but there were no witnesses with him and no money was handed to him.

"This was clearly very odd and alarming behaviour and this certainly does not seem like a genuine attempt to raise money for charity."

The man was 5ft 8in tall, of medium build with short dark hair and he had what the woman described as an educated accent.

He was wearing a red and white or yellow striped T-shirt.

A spokeswoman for Comic Relief said: "This man did not ask for money. If he was doing this for charity, I imagine he would have asked for money.

"We never encourage people to carry out fund raising projects on strangers.

"We also encourage them not to do anything that will harm people in any way."

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