The boyfriend of a British woman who mysteriously disappeared from his yacht in the Caribbean has a history of domestic violence, his ex-wife has revealed.
Sarm Heslop, 41, a former air hostess for Flybe airline, vanished in the dead of night from Ryan Bane’s 47ft catamaran Siren Song in the US Virgin Islands two weeks ago.
Mr Bane waited a reported nine hours before calling the US Coastguard and, despite her parents’ pleas, has since refused to let police search his boat.
Sarm Heslop, 41, a former air hostess for Flybe airline, vanished in the dead of night from Ryan Bane’s 47ft catamaran Siren Song in the US Virgin Islands two weeks ago
Now Cori Stevenson, married to fellow American Mr Bane, 44, for six years, has come forward to say her ex ‘went to jail for kicking my a**’.
Court records show he was jailed for 21 days in 2011 after leaving her bloodied and with a chipped tooth following a row.
Miss Stevenson, 43, told police in Oakland County, near Detroit in Michigan, that she was dragged out of their truck before having her head slammed into the ground.
The report said: ‘She states that…the incident went unreported, and that it caused her to miss multiple days of work with marks to her face.’
Miss Stevenson was attacked after the pair attended a wedding party and argued on the way home.
The report added: ‘Ryan continually got frustrated with her asking for directions while he was trying to sleep.’ When they got home at 5am, ‘Ryan grabbed her and dragged her out of the truck,’ officers wrote.
Cori Stevenson, married to fellow American Mr Bane, 44, for six years, has come forward to say her ex ‘went to jail for kicking my a**’
‘Ryan grabbed her in the dining room, threw her to the ground, and smashed her head in to the floor, chipping one of her teeth.’
Police said there were clear signs of a struggle, noting that Miss Stevenson’s ‘right tooth had a chip out of it, her right ear lobe was bloody and scratched, her right shoulder and side of her neck showed red scratches…’.
Mr Bane was taken to police cells before appearing in court charged with domestic violence. Despite having told officers he was ‘defending himself’, he pleaded guilty and was jailed for 21 days.
In 2013 he was jailed again, for ten days, for violating his two-year probation. He had been ordered not to contact his wife.
Miss Stevenson told US website Crime Online that their six-year marriage ended in divorce, finalised in 2014, due to the abuse.
In the past week, she has spoken to local officers and posted messages of hope that Miss Heslop will be found alive. But Mr Bane’s social media last night did not appear to feature any appeals for help in finding Miss Heslop.
Instead, it bore a prominent image of him carousing with bikini-clad women, and his grandiose declaration: ‘I feel most alive, and happy running down my dreams on the cusp of my ever-expanding comfort zone.’
Mr Bane waited a reported nine hours before calling the US Coastguard and, despite her parents’ pleas, has since refused to let police search his boat
Mr Bane has been using his boat to take paying tourists on trips, with Miss Heslop, from Southampton, acting as cook. They met in Grenada, via dating app Tinder, last year.
Mr Bane, a graduate account manager turned yacht captain, has told police they were anchored 120ft offshore in Frank Bay on St John Island earlier this month when they went to a restaurant.
They returned and watched television, he claimed, before he went to bed at around 10pm. He says he was woken by the £500,000 yacht’s anchor alarm at 2am – and found strong swimmer Miss Heslop gone.The experienced sailor left behind her phone, purse and passport.
The USVI police department – who have not ruled out foul play – said at the weekend: ‘Soon after reporting Ms Heslop missing, Mr Bane acquired the services of an attorney. Upon his attorney’s advice, Mr Bane exercised his constitutional right to remain silent and denied officers’ requests to search the vessel.’
Mr Bane’s lawyer David Cattie insists his client has been helping police. But Miss Heslop’s parents Peter Heslop and Brenda Street want Siren Song searched.
Mr Cattie said last night that officers had been aboard, adding: ‘Just after finding Sarm missing, Ryan Bane contacted the VIPD then travelled to meet members of the VIPD to give a statement. Ryan’s thoughts are with Sarm and her family at this time, and he is praying for her safe return.’