Jun 3 2011
Their relationship began in the most romantic of ways — at a sun-drenched holiday resort in a foreign land. But Sarah Ben Miled’s surprising love story is now the stuff of nightmares. She is hiding out alone in a safe-house, terrified that the man she loved and married two years ago will find her and exact an appalling revenge for the failure of their short and ill-fated marriage.
From a middle-class background, with a long-established life in Britain as a chef, Sarah was living in a respectable two-bedroom Victorian home in Plymouth. Today she is a woman ruing the moment she fell for the charms of 21-year-old Tunisian hotel worker Marai Ben Miled.
‘The police have intelligence that he plans to kill me, then himself,’ says Sarah, a 42-year-old mother-of-three. ‘He sends me text messages threatening to slit my throat from ear-to-ear, just as he used to slaughter sheep in his village back home.’
She is telling her harrowing story in the hope that someone knows where her husband is and will alert the police. Sarah admits she has been, at best, naïve. At worst, she has been foolish — a mature woman who, many would argue, should have known better than to allow herself to be seduced into the life of an impoverished and troubled young man. (It’s a liberal thing)
Such is the threat to Sarah that she is living under police surveillance at a secret address until Ben Miled, who is on the run, has been caught.
When Sarah met her husband-to-be in February 2009, he was sitting near her hotel stubbing a lit cigarette into the palm of his hand. An inauspicious beginning indeed. He was distressed,’ Sarah says. ‘He said his father had died, leaving him responsible for the whole family. He told me he was 29 and worked at the hotel, earning about £25 a month.’
To thank Sarah and her friend for their kindness, Ben Miled invited them to his village, Kerker. His house was dark and tiny, lacking basic sanitation, and the family slept on the floor.
‘When I returned to Plymouth, I couldn’t stop thinking about him and his poor family,’ says Sarah, who kept in contact with Ben Miled by text message. But Sarah explains that, over the following weeks, what had begun as sympathy for the young man turned into a deeper affection.
‘He said he missed me and I started to feel the same,’ she says. ‘When I told him I’d booked a trip back to Tunisia for a month over Easter, he was so excited.’
READ THE REST HERE. I don’t have the stomach to post it: UK DAILY MAIL (H/T Lee S)