Sunderland’s Bonny Baby Lyle is in the picture

Bonnie Babies prize handover to mother Melissa Wailes, father Jonathan Thornton and baby Lyle Rocco Thornton. Bridges centre manager John Green (L) and Focal Point's David Shilling (R)
Bonnie Babies prize handover to mother Melissa Wailes, father Jonathan Thornton and baby Lyle Rocco Thornton. Bridges centre manager John Green (L) and Focal Point's David Shilling (R)

A Wearside tot who was crowned the city’s bonniest baby could become a model of the future.

Lyle Rocco Thornton, beat hundreds of other young hopefuls to take the coveted title of Bonny Baby 2017 in the Echo’s annual competition.

I can’t believe the amount of people who have stopped me because they recognise him as the bonny baby winner

Melissa Wailes

The one-year-old from Washington’s Hazelwood Gardens, was taken along to The Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland by his proud parents, Melissa Wailes and Jonathan Thornton to collect his prize.

He was presented with his £100 voucher from The Bridges centre manager, John Green, and a huge portrait from David Shilling of Focal Point photography.

Melissa, 27, only entered Lyle into the competition towards the end of it after people kept telling her to give it a go.

The family were thrilled when he was announced as the winner, by a large margin, in the finals where more than 7,000 people voted.

Melissa, said: “It was lovely to get the prize, he hasn’t spent all his vouchers yet.

“Since he won, I can’t believe the amount of people who have stopped me because they recognise him as the bonny baby winner.”

The doting mum said wherever she goes with her son people comment on how cute he is with his curly hair and big blue eyes.

And, she says she will definitely be entering him in the competition again next year.

She said: “I might look into him doing some baby modelling, loads of people say I should give it a go.

“He loves the attention and the camera, so why not?”

The winners in the other categories, Layla Cole, 19-36 months and Zara Aghamohammadi, 37 months to five years, were also presented with large canvas prints.