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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 December 2006, 10:29 GMT
Sikh teen lied about hair attack
Pilrig Park where the attack was said to have taken place
The boy had told police he was attacked in Pilrig Park
A 15-year-old Sikh boy who claimed he had his hair cut off by racist thugs has admitted he made the attack up.

The boy from Edinburgh reported the alleged racist attack in November and the case was widely publicised.

The cutting of his hair was an act which was seen as deeply insulting to the Sikh faith.

Lothian and Borders Police confirmed the attack had not taken place and said the boy had expressed remorse. They said no further action would be taken.

More than 200 Sikhs from around the UK gathered in Edinburgh to hold a two-hour prayer vigil following the boy's claims.

The boy had originally said he had been subjected to racial abuse in the park before being kicked to the ground by four white youths.

Religious symbol

However it emerged later that the teenager had in fact punched himself in the face and cut off his own hair.

Hair is a religious symbol for Sikhs and it is strictly against their faith to have it shorn.

Lothian and Borders Police mounted a large-scale investigation into the youngster's claims, setting up a dedicated text service and email address for people to contact them and also visiting local high schools.

But it is understood that when officers spoke to the boy again, he told them he had done it himself.

Deep regret

The teenager is believed to have had personal problems and was also having cultural identity issues brought about by differences between his Sikh upbringing and Western society.

A police spokeswoman said: "The boy has expressed deep regret for what he has done."

Police officers sent a report on the incident to the procurator fiscal but it is understood the teenager will not face charges for wasting police time because a prosecution is not felt to be in the public interest.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Sikh leaders issue statement following the admission



SEE ALSO
Sikh vigil condemns hair attack
19 Nov 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Sikh boy's hair cut by attackers
15 Nov 06 |  Edinburgh and East

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