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Lying beauty queen stripped of title

A beauty queen was stripped of her title after lying about her age and where she lived, organisers said today.

Laura Anness, a teacher, took the Miss Cornwall crown in front of hundreds of people in Newquay and was gearing up to represent the county in the Miss England final at the NEC Birmingham Hilton on August 31 and September 1.

She could then have followed her modelling dream by competing in Miss World.

But organisers of the pageant removed her title after discovering the teacher had deceived them.

The rules state that entrants must be 17 to 24 years old and living, working or studying within the county.

Miss Cornwall organisers said in a statement: "The recently crowned Miss Cornwall 2010 Laura Anness has been stripped of her title.

"Laura clearly stated on entry to the contest that she was 22. Subsequent checking has revealed her to be 27.

"Therefore the title and place in the Miss England final goes to Samantha Jane Orpe who was the first runner up in Miss Cornwall 2010."

Becky Chapman, 38, Miss Cornwall organiser, came across Miss Cornwall entry forms completed by Miss Anness as far back as 2006 when she was cleaning her office.

Miss Anness had put her age as 22 in that year and also in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

She admitted she had lied about her age to "follow her dream" when Ms Chapman confronted her with the evidence.

During a visit to Miss Anness' home, Ms Chapman then discovered she had also lied about her home address and instead of living in Saltash, Cornwall, as she stated in her form, she was actually from Plymouth, Devon, with no connection to Cornwall at all.

The disgraced beauty queen apologised and handed back her sash, crown, her 12-month modelling contract and £2,000 worth of prizes.

A new ceremony will due to be held this week to crown Truro resident Miss Orpe, 21, the new Miss Cornwall.