A devoted husband claims he was held hostage by his much younger bride’s Tunisian family who threatened to cut his fingers off if he didn’t hand over his life savings.
British Paul Fitzpatrick, 56, married Mbarka, 30, just a few months after meeting her on holiday in Tunisia.
But the divorced former soldier’s whirlwind romance soon turned into a nightmare when he flew back out to Tunisia to visit his new bride and found himself held hostage.
Blushing bride: Paul Fitzpatrick, 56, with his 30-year-old Tunisian Bride Mbarka on their wedding day in April this year
He claims he was locked up alone in a bedroom on the first night of their honeymoon and left there for ten days while his bride’s family threatened him and demanded he give them his life’s savings.
Mr Fitzpatrick, a retired law clerk, eventually managed to escape from their house and make it to the British Embassy before flying home.
Mr Fitzpatrick, from Burnley in Lancashire, told The Sun: ‘I was terrified. I really thought they were going to kill me.
‘They took all the money I had on me, my laptop and clothes. They were demanding cash and cards and telling me to phone the bank for more money.
‘I was locked up until the money came through from England. I have nothing left. She must have had £20,000 from me.’
‘Meal ticket’: Mr Fitzpatrick claims he was held hostage by the family of his Tunisian bride Mbarka on the first night of his honeymoon
Scam: Mr Fitzpatrick managed to escape to the British Embassy but has lost all his savings
Mr Fitzpatrick met ‘beautiful’ Mbarka when he was on holiday in Sousse, Tunisia, last year.
When he returned home, Mbarka rang him claiming that she missed him, so he flew back out to Tunisia to see her.
He returned ten more times and they eventually married in April in Tunisia.
Mr Fitzpatrick returned home five days later without his bride but regularly sent her money for her rent while he made arrangements to return for a three-month honeymoon in Tunisia.
He added: ‘It was a scam and I was stupid. I thought she loved me but I was just a meal ticket.’