Woman left scarred after horrific South Downs attack wins her way to major beauty contest finals

A young woman who was left permanently scarred after a horrific attack by two men has now won her way through to the finals of a major beauty contest.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 12:31 pm

Shannon James and her mother Rebecca were both seriously injured when the two men burst into their home in Ashington and attacked them with a crowbar and sledgehammer.

But now, seven years after the terrifying ordeal, Shannon has managed to put the nightmare behind her.

And, although left with a deep scar on her forehead, Shannon is delighted to be a finalist in the Miss Pageant Girl UK competition.

Shannon James

“Despite my facial scarring, I’ve still got through to the finals which I didn’t think in a million years would be possible,” she said.

Shannon, now 23 and living in Storrington, was just 16 when the attack happened in August 2013. She later spoke of the terrifying night when the two men knocked on the door of their home and her mum was attacked as she answered it.

Shannon was viciously beaten when she tried to protect her mum and ended up having 22 stitches to her wounds. “I thought we were both going to die,” she said.

A reward was later offered for information about the attackers but they were never found.

Shannon James was left scarred for life after a brutal attack

However, Shannon has now managed to make a new life for herself and is one of just 40 finalists out of 400 to have made their way through to the national finals of the Miss Pageant Girl UK contest in Chorley, Lancashire, in July.

“When it first happened and I was left with a scar, a lot of people said to me ‘you won’t be able to do this and that.’ It pushed me, I just rolled up my sleeves and thought ‘no, I have got to go for it’.

“Now my scar is just a part of me. I have come to terms with it - I can’t imagine me without it.”

Shannon James in hospital after the attack