Father who dumped partner for refugee is going to Ukraine

British father who dumped his partner for Ukrainian refugee they were hosting is going with his new love to her war-torn homeland in bid ‘to save hundreds of lives’

  • Tony Garnett left Lorna Garnett, his two daughters’ mother, for Sofiia Karkadym
  • Ms Karkadym, 22, came to stay with the Garnett family after Russia’s invasion 
  • But she fell for the father-of-two and they moved out together after 10 days 
  • He says that he will ‘document’ their trip, showing how they will help orphans

A British father who dumped his partner for a Ukrainian refugee said he is going to return with his new love to her war-torn in a bid ‘to save hundreds of lives’. 

Former security guard Tony Garnett left his longtime partner Lorna Garnett, the mother of their two daughters, to start a new life with Sofiia Karkadym, 22, just ten days after she arrived from war torn Ukraine to start a new life in Britain.

He is now raising money through skydiving so they can help orphan children in Ukraine.  

The 29-year-old, who claims he lost his job over the affair, has now told Yorkshire Live: ‘I have seen the full scale of things since meeting Sofiia and I think people need this help. It is not a game. I need to use my influence now to do the right thing.

‘The longer [the war] goes on for then there’s going to be more deaths – and some could be stopped with this help.

‘I could save hundreds of lives. Even if I save the life of one person then that is worth it for me.’

A British father who dumped his partner for a Ukrainian refugee said he is going to return with his new love to her war-torn in a bid ‘to save hundreds of lives’. Pictured: Sofiia Karkadym

The new couple have now known each other for just three months but are already making plans to visit Sofiia’s family back in Ukraine so that Tony can formally ask her father for his daughter’s hand in marriage

 Tony also says he and his new love have incurred a torrent of hateful abuse online over their decision, while some people threatened to try and get Sofiia deported

He added: ‘It’s the right thing to do. People are donating to Ukraine but they are not seeing where this money is going to.

‘I want to raise money for people who look after orphans and all those that have been wounded. I want to travel over there myself and document who I am helping. Sofiia will be going with me.

To aid in his efforts, he will skydive and has launched a GoFundMe fundraiser. 

Tony previously told the MailOnline that he and Sofiia hope to have children together – if doctors can reverse the vasectomy he had after having two children with his previous partner.

He added: ‘I want to propose to this beautiful lady.’

Sofiia added: ‘We are planning our life together. I want to be a mother. I want to have children.

‘I am a young woman so it can wait a few years and I hope that Tony can have his vasectomy reversed so that we can become a family together.’

The new couple had known each other for two months they they were already making plans in July to visit Sofiia’s family back in Ukraine so that Tony can formally ask her father for his daughter’s hand in marriage.

Tony said: ‘I want to say that out of Putin’s evil has come something really good for me and her.’

Tony said he will formally propose once their situation is more stable: ‘I want to make it special so we’re just going to wait until we have found somewhere proper to live where we can settle.’

Tony and Sofiia say that they are happier than ever together and even want to start a family – if Tony can reverse the vasectomy he had after he fathered his two children with his ex

And in a less traditional move Tony, who has worked as a tattooist, proposes to mark their planned union by giving Sofiia an inking reading ‘Queen’ to go with the ‘King’ tattoo he already has on his neck.

Sofiia said: ‘I want to be his queen or his princess. I love him very much. I can’t wait for us to get married.’

He said: ‘I want to make it so special and so romantic for her. We’ve talked about marriage and that doesn’t mean that I can’t surprise her with the proposal. I’ll make it one that she will never forget.

Tony said he and his bride-to-be would visit her father Ilya, 46, an antiques dealer in Ukraine as soon as it was safe to do so.

‘She doesn’t quite understand it. But I’ve explained to her that it is a respectful thing that British men do to go and ask a girl’s father for her hand in marriage.’

He went on: ‘The reaction to us being a couple has just been mad! I picked up 5,000 Instagram followers yesterday and she got 7,000 for no reason at all. People are fascinated with us.’

But the couple’s social media reception has not been all pleasant.

Tony said: ‘We’ve had some quite horrible stuff posted about us on Instagram and other social media.

‘But these people are just morons and cannot understand how people can fall in love even if it is only been a short time that they’ve known each other.’

The couple was shocked to find abusive messages left for them online with Sofiia being branded a homewrecker.

Sofiia Karkadym (pictured) arrived in the UK at the start of May after fleeing the war in Ukraine 

She said: ‘The news about Tony and me has reached Ukraine and my family called me and said they were very upset and at one stage they said they were never going to talk to me again.

‘But I have explained to them that Tony was not married and that we innocently fell in love and this is a permanent thing.’

‘I was upset that my family read the stories that say a Ukrainian girl had gone to Britain and stolen somebody’s husband.

‘I am worried that the Russians will use this as propaganda to try and show the Ukrainians cause trouble wherever they go.

He said: ‘I decided that I wanted to take a refugee from Ukraine because I just want to do something meaningful and good.

‘I kept thinking if England had been invaded they would be people hopefully who would take my children in other countries to safety. We all have to do our part.

‘When I went to pick up Sofiia at Manchester Airport, I had no other motive than to make her feel welcome and comfortable and safe.

‘The first thing I did was take her to a McDonald’s drive-through where we had a Big Mac and got chatting.

‘I realised she spoke English quite well and that meant we could be friends as well.

‘On another day I took her back and she asked for a burger and beer which is apparently what they can do back in Ukraine. It made me really laugh.’

Just 10 days after meeting Sofiia (pictured) Tony left his partner of 10 years and is planning to spend the rest of his life with her

The mother of Tony’s kids, Lorna, ordered Sofiia to leave and accused the IT worker of making passes at her husband, but Garnett decided to pack his bags and leave with his new lodger.

Tony insists that Sofiia’s arrival in his life was not the cause of his break up with the mother of his two children: ‘Lorna and I hadn’t been getting on very well. I have moved out a couple of times and really we were living as friends and parents to our daughters, who we both love.

‘We never got married because it wasn’t something that I was interested in with her and I didn’t want to have any more kids, which is why I had a vasectomy even though I was only in my mid 20s.

‘The doctor tried to talk me out of it saying that it would be unfair on my partner and that I might change my mind in later years.

‘But when I had it done I wasn’t with her, so they agreed to do it. Now of course I wished I hadn’t because I really wanna have children with Sofiia.

‘She also doesn’t understand why I had a vasectomy. But both of us are praying that it can be undone and we can have our own children.’

Sofiia arrived at Tony’s family home in Bradford, West Yorkshire, on May 4th after fleeing the conflict in her native Ukraine, but within days the pair had developed a connection.

Jilted mother Lorna Garnett (pictured with ex-partner Tony) has previously shared her anger after she let the Ukrainian woman into her home

Sofiia, who left behind her divorced parents, a stepfather and 13-year-old sister Elizabeth, said she loved the Yorkshire accents but was struggling to understand some of the terms.

‘I don’t understand why people call each other ‘ love’ or say things like ‘I’ll see you later’.

‘I thought they said they would come to your house when they said they would see you later!

‘But Tony explained to me that this is just the way that people talk around here. It’s cool with me.’

She said she had lost family and friends to the brutal invasion by Russia and decided to leave her country when she lost her job as an IT manager when her boss had to go and fight with the defence forces.

‘I also lost my home because the rent went up really high and the landlady wanted to put some of her family into the room.

‘So I had nowhere to live and no job and the war was going on around me.

‘I thought ‘I must get out of Ukraine ‘ and then I saw that I could come to Britain on the Internet and Tony and I began exchanging messages. I’m glad I made that decision. ‘

The 29-year-old told said that he and his new love have incurred a torrent of hateful abuse online over their decision, while some people threatened to try and get Sofiia deported.

His relationship with his ex partner Lorna has also soured and he said he had been in contact with lawyers to gain proper time to see his children.

IT manager Sofiia (pictured) is now renting a property in Bradford with Tony after he left his partner and kids

Tony Garnett, 29, said he has fallen in love with 22-year-old Sofiia, who said she ‘fancied’ Tony as soon as she saw him

The 29-year-old also revealed he has lost work because of the affair, and is caring for Sofiia full time after she contracted an eye infection which left her partially blind. 

He told the Daily Star: ‘I’ve been trying to get by and survive with Sofiia with nowt.

‘I want to show people that I’m not a scrounger for government benefits, I know what is right.

‘I used to have a very successful business. I’ve dedicated myself to it, some weeks I put over 80 hours a week into it.’

Tony added: ‘Sofiia picked up an infection while on Germany and it got really bad when she arrived at Manchester Airport. She had an operation on it.

‘She can only see partially through it at the moment and that’s a bit worrying. But the doctors have said it will take six months for it to heal properly.

‘She has just got a National Insurance number which will help with treatment.’

Tony said that he ran a security firm that had contracts he lost due to his relationship attracting so much attention.

He added: ‘Now and again I’m sending door staff to pubs and clubs but I’ve gone from earning nearly 2k a week to earning jack s***.’

MailOnline also told how Tony had released a rap criticising ‘an ex’.

He put out a YouTube song called ‘Ukraine to UK Rain’ in which he accuses an ‘ex’ of being ‘two-faced’ and playing with his emotions ‘like a video console’.

And he raps: ‘I’m now with a blonde – but yes, my ex was a brunette.’

The song describes Ukraine as ‘a country torn apart with war crimes and bad pain’.

It also includes the lines: ‘Should I have stayed there just to be with my kids? No thank you, not today. You see my mental state forbids.’

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