London Times Reports
Miss England has been forced to relinquish her crown after an alleged duel with a rival beauty queen over a TV Gladiator. Rachel Christie, niece of Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie, stepped down after being accused of punching Miss Manchester, Sara Beverley Jones, 24, in the face during a night out at a nightclub.
Trouble allegedly flared after Miss Jones showed Miss Christie a message on her phone claiming that it was sent to her by Miss Christie’s boyfriend, David McIntosh, who appears as Tornado in the Sky One television show Gladiators.
Miss Jones, who was dressed as a cavewoman, was taken to hospital, where she was treated for “superficial facial injuries”.
Miss Christie, 21, was arrested on suspicion of assault and released on bail pending a hearing in January.
The model and athlete, who hopes to win a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in the heptathlon, has also quit the race to become Miss World to concentrate on clearing her name.
Last night a statement on the Miss England website read: “Due to the media attention following the allegations against her, Rachel Christie has now decided to withdraw from the Miss World competition and relinquish her Miss England crown. Rachel will concentrate on clearing her name and focus on training for the 2012 Olympics until this case is resolved.”
Miss Christie, who was dressed as an angel at the time of the alleged fracas, had been due to leave for the Miss World contest in South Africa next Tuesday. Police were called to the Mansion club in Manchester shortly before 1am on Monday.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “It is believed that, earlier that night, a 24-year-old woman got into an altercation with another woman in the club and was hit in the face several times.
“The victim was taken to Hope Hospital, where she received treatment for superficial facial injuries. She has now been discharged.”
It is believed that Mr McIntosh, a 15st former Royal Marine, is a former boyfriend of Miss Manchester.
Miss Christie was the first black woman to be crowned Miss England. When she won the title in July, she pledged to be a role model for black youth. “One of my reasons for doing Miss England in the first place was because I wanted to show people, the younger generation especially, that you can do something positive with your life,” Miss Christie had said, adding that she had turned to modelling to fund her training.
“Whoever you are, you can be who you want and whatever you want.”
Her father, Russell, had been a promising athlete but was arrested for theft and stabbed to death during a drugs-related dispute in 1996. Four years earlier, he had been jailed for attacking a former lover.
Mr McIntosh cites Rambo as his greatest inspiration and says he likes to “chill out with a cup of green tea” in preparation for his television battles.
Miss Christie has been replaced as Miss England by Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge, who came second in the pageant. Miss Hodge, 22, who was awarded a commendation from her unit, the 1st Batallion, Royal Anglian Regiment, for her actions during a posting in 2005 in Basra, has been given leave from her duties as a soldier to appear in the Miss World final.