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Dad who left partner for Ukraine refugee insists he 'just wanted to make her feel welcome'

31 July 2022, 13:29 | Updated: 31 July 2022, 13:57

By Sophie Barnett

A British father who left his partner for a Ukrainian refugee 10 days after she moved into their home has exclusively told LBC he didn't invite her here to "start a relationship" but just wanted to "make her feel welcome".

Sofiia Karkadym moved in with Anthony Garnett and Lorna Garnett earlier this year after they offered her a home amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

But just 10 days after arriving, Anthony dumped his long-term partner Lorna and left the family home with the 22-year-old.

Speaking exclusively to LBC's Ben Kentish, Anthony insisted he didn't invite Sofiia here because he "fancied her" or because he "wanted to start a relationship", but simply because he "wanted to help someone".

Quizzed by Ben on how the relationship unfolded, Anthony said he was "just trying to make her feel welcome".

"In reality, I was doing the right thing that I believed I were [sic] doing to help someone that was fleeing a warzone.

"I was making her feel comfortable, silly things like putting Ukrainian subtitles on the TV, but obviously the ex has twisted it and said I only done this because I fancied her, I was spending late nights with her."

Read more: Dad who left his partner for Ukrainian refugee invites another woman into his home

Sofiia Karkadym moved in with Tony Garnett and Lorna Garnett earlier this year
Sofiia Karkadym moved in with Tony Garnett and Lorna Garnett earlier this year. Picture: Instagram/@sonya_dobrvlsk

He claims it was "not like this at all" and hit out at those giving abuse to his partner Sofiia, and those calling him a villain, saying these people "have a very, very sad life".

"I'm happy and I know I've made the right decision," he told Ben.

"No matter what anyone says to me it's not going to change my life, it's not going to change my opinion, I'm a grown man and I do what I think is right."

Anthony explained that he decided to help a Ukrainian refugee after watching the war every day at work and feeling helpless.

"I just wanted to help someone. I didn't care if it was a male, female, whatever age," he said.

He criticised the government's Homes for Ukraine scheme for being "too slow", and instead took matters into his own hands.

Tony Garnett with Sofiia Karkadym
Tony Garnett with Sofiia Karkadym. Picture: Instagram/@sonya_dobrvlsk

He arranged for Sofiia to come over here via social media and claims that within two days his ex-partner Lorna "began accusing me of things".

He insisted nothing was going on at this point, adding: "I didn't invite her over here to start a relationship with her. What has happened has happened afterwards, which, you know, two people are entitled to do."

Anthony said he is more "thick-skinned" than his other half, who he admits has been "hurt" by the "home-wrecker" comments made online.

He said they don't have any plans to move to Ukraine but they are preparing to visit the country so he can meet Sofiia's family.