A British father-of-two has dumped his partner after falling for a 22-year-old Ukrainian refugee who came to live with them to escape the war.
Tony Garnett, 29, and his partner Lorna, 28, took in Sofiia Karkadym at the start of May, but just 10 days later their seemingly-happy marriage was torn apart when the he ran away with the refugee.
The security guard, who lives in Bradford, West Yorkshire, says he has fallen in love with the 22-year-old and wants to spend the rest of his life with her.
Sofiia, who fled the city of Lviv in western Ukraine, said she ‘fancied’ Tony as soon as she saw him and that the pair are living their very own ‘love story’.
Admitting the pain this will cause Lorna, Tony said he has ‘discovered a connection with Sofiia like I’ve never had before’, adding that they ‘know this is right’.
The family had taken Sofiia in in an effort to do their bit to help Ukrainian’s fleeing the Russian invasion, with Tony telling The Sun he ‘wanted to do the right thing’ and that she was the first person to get in touch on a Facebook page where he offered to house a refugee.
Sofiia Karkadym (pictured) arrived in the UK at the start of May after fleeing the war ongoing war in Ukraine
Sofiia, who works as an IT manager, flew into Manchester on May 4 after waiting for weeks in Berlin for her UK visa to be approved.
Tony said he and Sofiia quickly developed a connection, and while his six-year-old and three-year-old daughters also took a liking to her, his partner of 10 years did not.
Tony, who speaks Slovakian, would talk with his future lover while she spoke Ukrainian, as the two languages are mutually intelligible.
Just 10 days after moving in with Tony Garnett and his partner Lorna, Sofiia (pictured) and her new lover moved out
However, this left Lorna not understanding what they were talking about.
‘We were getting on brilliantly but at that time it was no more than that — although I can see why Lorna started to feel jealous and resentful of her,’ Tony said.
As the days passed Sofiia would join Tony at the gym and they would talk in his car, while at home they grew physically closer.
‘At home I realised we were finding excuses to touch and brush against each other, it was very flirtatious but nothing more than that happened at that stage,’ he said.
‘Although it was fairly innocent it was causing arguments. I can understand that. When I got in at night Sofiia would be the one who had made a meal for me to try.’
As the pair got closer and closer, Lorna became ‘very jealous’ Tony says, and began to question why Sofiia was following him around all the time.
‘The atmosphere was getting really bad and Sofiia told me she didn’t know whether she could continue to live with us under these circumstances,’ he said.
‘Lorna was never that enthusiastic about having a refugee in our home because it meant the girls had to move into one room.’
Things came to a head after an explosive row between the women left Sofiia in tears and saying she no longer felt like she could no longer live in the same house as Lorna.
Sofiia, who is an IT manager, fled the western Ukrainian city of Lviv to escape the war.. Pictured are refugees waiting to board a train at the main railway station in the city
Tony said ‘something inside me clicked’ and he told Lorna ‘If she’s going, I’m going’.
The pair then packed their bags and moved in with Tony’s mum and dad, although they are looking at properties to move into.
After their relationship of 10 years ended in the space of just 10 days, Tony says he feels bad and that Lorna is not to blame.
am so sorry for what Lorna is going through, this was not her fault and it was not about anything she did wrong.
‘We never set out to do this, it wasn’t planned and we didn’t mean to hurt anyone.’