A British father of two divorced his wife after falling in love with a 22-year-old Ukrainian refugee who came to live with them to escape the war in her homeland.
According to the Mail Online, Tony Garnett, 29, and his partner Lorna, 28, took in Sofiia Karkadym at the beginning of May, but their seemingly happy marriage ended just 10 days later when he ran away with the refugee.
he Bradford-based security guard revealed that he has fallen in love with the 22-year-old and wishes to spend the rest of his life with her.
Sofiia, who fled the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, said she ‘fancied’ Tony the moment she saw him and that the pair are living their own ‘love story.’
In response to Lorna’s pain, Tony stated that he has “discovered a connection with Sofiia like I’ve never had before,” adding that they “know this is right.”
Tony told The Sun that he ‘wanted to do the right thing’ by taking Sofiia in an effort to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, and that she was the first person to contact him on a Facebook page where he offered to house a refugee.
Sofiia, an IT manager, arrived in Manchester on May 4 after waiting in Berlin for weeks for her UK visa to be approved.
Tony claimed that he and Sofiia hit it off right away and that his six-year-old and three-year-old daughters, with the exception of his ten-year partner, were fine with her.
The father of two, who speaks Slovakian, says he would communicate with his future lover if she spoke Ukrainian, because the two languages are mutually intelligible.
‘We were getting on brilliantly, but at the time it was nothing more than that — although I can see why Lorna became jealous and resentful of her,’ Tony explained.
Sofiia would join Tony at the gym and they would talk in his car as the days passed, and at home they grew physically closer.
‘At home, I noticed we were making excuses to touch and brush against each other; it was very flirtatious, but nothing more happened at that point,’ he explained.
‘Although it was fairly innocuous, it was causing debate. That makes sense to me. Sofiia would be the one who had prepared a meal for me to try when I got home at night.’
Lorna became’very jealous’ as the couple grew closer, Tony says, and began to wonder why Sofiia was following him around all the time.
‘The atmosphere was getting really bad, and Sofiia told me she didn’t know if she could continue to live with us under these conditions,’ he explained.
‘Lorna was never thrilled about having a refugee in our home because it meant the girls had to share a room.’
Things came to a head after an explosive argument between the women left Sofiia in tears and saying she couldn’t live in the same house as Lorna.
‘Something inside me clicked,’ Tony said, and he told Lorna, ‘If she’s going, I’m going.’
The couple then packed their belongings and moved in with Tony’s mother and father, though they are still looking for a place to live.
Tony says he feels bad about their 10-year relationship ending in 10 days and that Lorna is not to blame.
‘I am so sorry for what Lorna is going through; this was not her fault, and she did nothing wrong.’
‘We had no intention of doing this, it wasn’t planned, and we didn’t mean to hurt anyone.’