The mum whose partner ran off with the Ukrainian refugee they welcomed in has sobbed: “She set her sights on him and took what she wanted.”
Yesterday’s story on how Lorna Garnett, 28, felt she had to kick out 22-year-old Sofiia Karkadym after just ten days — and how she was heartbroken when her partner Tony decided to go with her.
Lorna said: “I had my reservations at first about taking a refugee into our home — who wouldn’t?
“We were bringing a stranger into our house to live with us.
“That’s a major decision to take and though I was unsure, he wanted to do it.
“The situation in Ukraine is terrifying for ordinary people so I decided it was the right thing to do to put a roof over someone’s head and help them when they were in desperate need.
“And this is how Sofiia repaid me for giving her a home.
“She set her sights on Anthony from the start, decided she wanted him and she took him.
“She didn’t care about the devastation that was left behind.
“Everything I knew has been turned on its head in the space of two weeks.
“I don’t know what I’d have done without my friends, who have been here for me every minute since he left.
“I just don’t understand how he could throw all that away for a woman he’s known for a fortnight. The life I knew is shattered.”
Security guard Tony signed up to the UK Government scheme to house refugees in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
He found the application process too slow so took to social media to offer help.
The dad, who works in an NHS drop-in centre, was introduced to Sofiia on Facebook and offered to become her UK sponsor.
IT manager Sofiia made her way from Kyiv to Lviv, into Poland and then on to Berlin.
She was finally offered a visa at the beginning of May.
She flew to Manchester airport and moved in with Tony and Lorna in Bradford, West Yorks.
But within days tensions rose as Tony and their new guest grew close — and Lorna began regretting ever opening up their rented home.
She became increasingly suspicious that Sofiia wanted more than just a roof over her head.
And her concern grew when Sofiia would put on make-up, style her hair and wear a low-cut top only around the time Tony returned home from work.
Lorna finally snapped and kicked Sofiia out but was left devastated when Tony, her partner of eight years, packed his bags, and went too.
They started sharing a bed at his mum’s house.
Read Also: Sofiia Karkadym: I’m a Ukrainian Refugee Who Ran Off With Married Man Who Took Me In, I Could See How Unhappy He Was With His Wife
He told Lorna they had fallen head over heels in love during a whirlwind romance and he wanted to build a new life with Sofiia.
Lorna recalled: “It very quickly became clear to me that Sofiia wasn’t interested in spending any time with me.
“She would stay in bed until 11.30am or 12 noon and when she got up she was very difficult to converse with. Her English is pretty good, so it wasn’t a language barrier.
“She just wasn’t interested in spending time with me.
“We did go shopping because she got a £200 grant for clothes and essentials from the local authority, so I took her to Primark to get some new things.
“During the day she wore no make-up, didn’t do her hair and made no effort with her appearance. But that changed after 5pm when Tony was due to come home.
Read Also: ‘Putin Chose This War, And Now He And His Country Will Bear The Consequences’ – Biden Announces New Sanctions On Russia For Invading Ukraine
“Suddenly she’d come downstairs in red lippy, hair done and a low cut top.
“At first I told myself I was imagining it or being irrationally jealous.
“But sadly I was right all along.”
A neighbour even warned Lorna after she spotted Tony and Sofiia talking intimately as they stood smoking together at the entrance to the family home.
Lorna added: “My neighbour came over to see me and said she was concerned. She said as they’d been a little touchy feely and she didn’t like the look of it.
“By that time I’d started to feel like the third wheel as they sat on the sofa laughing and joking while I was ignored. I suddenly felt unwelcome in my own home.”
She went on: “We’d been together since 2014, made a home together and have two beautiful children.
“He tells me that he’s sharing a bed with her at his mother’s house so that tells me everything I need to know.”
Lorna — who changed her surname by deed poll but is not married to Tony — warned other families about the dangers of inviting a stranger into their home.
She said: “I would never put anyone off taking in refugees. This is a crisis in Ukraine and people like me will want to have the heart to help those in need.
“But I don’t want this to happen to anyone else because it’s been devastating.
“All I would say is, think very carefully about the possible impact of having a total stranger living in your home with your family and your wife or husband.
“I did the right thing, I showed compassion, I helped someone who was fleeing a terrible war and look where it’s got me.”
Lorna added: “They barely know each other. It’s crazy. I don’t know what the future holds at the moment.
“All I know is he’s walked out for a woman he’s known for ten days.
“Until she arrived we were a normal happy family.”
Tony apologised for the heartbreak but insisted it was love at first sight.
He said: “We’re sorry for the pain we’ve caused but I’ve discovered a connection with Sofiia like I’ve never had before.
“I just wanted to do the right thing and she just happened to be the first person to get in touch after I joined Facebook groups for people willing to house refugees.
“We clicked right from the start — it was something neither of us could stop.”
Sofiia said: “As soon as I saw him I fancied him.
“It’s been very quick but this is our love story. I know people will think badly of me but it happens. I could see how unhappy Tony was.”
But yesterday Tony and Sofiia, who were being put up in his parents’ home, were turfed out after our story went viral, even making headlines in Ukraine.
Last night Tony said: “I never expected it to go this big. The s*** has really hit the fan.
“We know people are upset but we couldn’t fight it.
“I never expected this to happen but it has.”
Almost 54,000 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in the UK under Government schemes.
Refugees Minister Lord Harrington said: “We are doing all we can to support new arrivals.”
Photo Credit: Getty