Schoolboy to get first haircut
A five-year-old schoolboy who has never had his hair cut since the day he was born has demanded a trip to the barber - because he is sick of being mistaken for a girl.
Rean Carter's flaxen curls are so long they tumble below the line of his belt and must be tied up at school, but the youngster wants the locks chopped off.
Heartbroken mother Leeanne Smith said the haircut would be sponsored for charity.
The 30-year-old, of Hylton Castle, Sunderland, said: "When Rean was born he had a lovely little curl of golden hair at the back of his head.
"I just could never bear to get it cut, not even his fringe. Now it flows all the way down his back to his bum and is very beautiful and soft.
"When we go out he is often mistaken for a little girl - people say 'Isn't she gorgeous' - but it has never bothered him; he just laughs.
"It was only when he joined school and had to have it tied back in a ponytail, for health and safety, that some of the other little boys began to make fun. They said he could not play with them because he looked like a girl.
"I've already cried at the thought of him having it cut, and will cry again when it actually happens."
The youngster has raised £82 in sponsorship for the stunt, from friends, relatives and classmates in his reception class at Grange Park Primary School in Sunderland.
The money will be donated to Sunderland Royal Hospital children's unit, where Rean was admitted for a week-and-a-half in 2010, suffering from impetigo.