Stranded Ronald (73) waiting to be reunited with pregnant African wife
PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 October 2011
A 73-YEAR-OLD Weston man says he has been left 'living a nightmare' after being told to stay away from his new 29-year-old wife and their African home, after it was ransacked in the middle of the night.
Ronald Backham, of Locking Road, received a call from his wife Victoria in Monrovia, Liberia, to say most of their possessions had been stolen in a raid.
He said: “It’s like living a nightmare, I can’t believe it. I just want to be with my wife and daughter.”
Pensioner Ronald met Victoria in January while on holiday in Gambia, just over two weeks after the death of his wife of six years, Liz. The couple fell hopelessly in love and married in Benjul in April.
Since then, Ronald has been preparing to begin a new life in Africa with Victoria, her eight-year-old daughter Precious, and their new child, who Victoria is currently expecting.
However, those plans were thrown into disarray last week, when the new home was raided, and Ronald received a call telling him it was not safe to visit the area - just hours before he planned to fly out to Monrovia.
Ronald said: “I just felt like it wasn’t really happening. I thought I had re-built my life.
“I want a comfortable married life and I can’t seem to get it. I just want to spend the rest of my time with my new family.”
Last week, Ronald travelled to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to see his wife and was met by immigration officers and escorted to a guest house for safety and advised to stay away from the property.
The flat included almost all of his furniture and possessions. When Ronald’s wife Liz died, one of the agreements in the will was that, if he were to re-marry, he would sell the house they shared in Alma Street, Weston.
Since then he has been renting a room in Locking Road and flying out to visit his new wife as often as he can.
His plan was to buy cheap cars in the UK, with the £72,000 left to him by his mother in her will, then ship them out to Monrovia, where his new wife would collect them, so they could set up a transport business. Ronald had bought 13 cars, which he has equated to more than £40,000. He said most of the money which was left over has gone on trips to visit Victoria, and their wedding.
Nine of the cars have already been shipped out and the remaining four were due to be sent in November.
He said: “I’ve put everything I have into this venture, and if it doesn’t go to plan, I’m just going to end up living off the state. It’s a terrible situation, but Victoria and I are just going to have to work something out.”
Ronald now hopes to get a visa for his wife and child to move to the UK.