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A Hornchurch teenager who experienced a horrifying family tragedy five years ago is in the running to become Miss Teen Queen UK 2013.

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Candilee Farey, 16, is the niece of Rocky Dawson who was murdered in May 2006 in Ardleigh Green Road.

Rocky, 24, was shot in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity, before stumbling into his parents’ home, where he died in front of family members, including Candilee.

Despite her childhood being disrupted by the horrific incident, former Emerson Park School pupil Candilee is currently in the second heat of the national beauty competition after being spotted by a scout in Romford town centre.

Her grandmother, Rocky’s mother, Candy Dawson, said: “She hasn’t got a lot of confidence, but she is absolutely stunning.

“She’s quite shy and obviously she has had quite a hard time. But to get through to this round is really something positive after everything she’s been through.”

The beauty pageant’s final is due to be held next year and prizes include an introduction to a modelling agency.

Candy added: “We really want her to do well and it’s a team effort. I’m going out with some friends, putting posters in shop windows and everywhere else we can.”

To vote for Candilee, call 0900 596 1000 and press 69 or text TQ69 to 81319.

Voting ends on November 30, texts cost 75p plus standard network rate.

Contract killer James Tomkins was jailed for murdering Rocky in April 2011. He had denied murder.

Christopher Pearman, of Waltham Abbey, who drove Tomkins to and from the scene was given a life sentence in January 2007 after pleading guilty to his involvement in the murder.

The people who ordered the killing have never been found.

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