A HOAXER left York headteacher Hugh Porter with a huge problem when a giant sumo wrestler turned up at his school.

Man mountain Steve Pateman arrived at Joseph Rowntree School, in York, to give a demonstration of the Japanese sport during last Friday's assembly. But there were red faces all round when it emerged that the British Sumo champion had been hoodwinked by a hoax e-mailer masquerading as Mr Porter.

Mr Pateman, who lives in Derby and is a member of the British Sumo Federation, was booked to appear at the school after receiving several e-mails.

The fake Mr Porter had requested he gave pupils a wrestling demonstration and talk on sumo culture.

"Mr Patemen turned up here out of the blue but we didn't know anything about it," Mr Porter said.

"Someone had been e-mailing him, pretending to be me.

"I was very surprised when he arrived and felt sorry for him that he had been tricked.

"It's impossible to say who is responsible.

"Mr Pateman was annoyed and frustrated but angry at himself for not phoning us to check it was true."

Mr Pateman said the federation would carry out its own investigation into the hoax.

"If we get some concrete evidence we will report the matter to the police," he told the Evening Press. "I personally believe that the person responsible is from the York area.

"Fortunately for me I tied it in with a couple of other jobs so it didn't affect me too much. All it cost me was a two-hour drive.

"This is the first time in ten years that we've had a problem."

Updated: 11:47 Monday, May 19, 2003