Jessica is Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest 2014

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Newly-crowned Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest Jessica Boot said she was so overwhelmed when she realised she had won the title that she ‘just burst into tears’.

The 18-year-old was crowned this year’s winner at a glittering ceremony at Sookholme’s John Fretwell Centre on Saturday night.

The former Brunts Academy student told Chad she entered the competition as a way of boosting her confidence, after almost trying for the crown last year.

Jessica, who is currently enjoying a gap year before heading off to university to study music, said: “I was just so overwhelmed as I didn’t expect to win at all.

“When I came within the top six I was so happy with what I had achieved, but when they called out my name as the winner I just burst into tears.

“I’m hoping my year as Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest will offer me lots of experiences and the chance to grow as a person.

“I almost applied for it a year ago but I was really nervous - but when I decided to take a gap year after my A Levels I wanted to do something that would allow me to immerse myself in the local community.

“I love Mansfield and my dad’s a former coal miner - it’s really developing at the moment and it’s the place I call home.”

Jessica succeeds last year’s winner Grace Turner in the hotseat.

Leyana Akbani was first runner-up in the competition, with Chelsea Phillips as second runner-up.

Contestants Emily Davies, Emma Briggs and Georgia Oram were also in the top six finalists, while Teliasha Guthrie, Jade Riggs, Laura Haynes, Emma Harbour, Amy Henshaw and Natalie Kitson made the final 12 from more than 40 applicants.

Organiser Tricia Mapletoft said: “The competition isn’t just about beauty, it’s about the whole package. Jessica is not only beautiful, she is also very intelligent and very compassionate.

“She will be an excellent embassador for the young people of Mansfield.”

PICTURED: Jessica Boot is crowned Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest. She is pictured with the other finalists. And (further down) Jessica taking part in the competition at the John Fretwell Centre.