'Nothing will stop me from marrying him': Mother-of-nine, 44, does not regret leaving her children and husband of two decades for Gambian toyboy 14 years her junior

  • Heidi Hepworth, 44, left husband Andy for Mamadou Jallow, 30, from Gambia
  • She abandoned her nine children to fly out to be with him in Gambian capital
  • The mother said: 'I don't have a single regret. I'm not a terrible parent'?

A mother-of-nine who left her children and husband of 23 years for a toyboy 14 years her junior has said he is determined to marry him.

Heidi Hepworth, 44, left husband Andy for 30-year-old Mamadou Jallow from Gambia after a 'mid-life crisis'.

Mrs Hepworth had never been abroad before, but abandoned her nine children to fly out to be with him in the Gambian capital, Banjul.

?Heidi Hepworth, 44, left husband Andy for 30-year-old Mamadou Jallow from Gambia after a 'mid-life crisis'

?Heidi Hepworth, 44, left husband Andy for 30-year-old Mamadou Jallow from Gambia after a 'mid-life crisis'

?Mrs Hepworth had never been abroad before, but abandoned her nine children and husband Andy(pictured) to fly out to be with him in the Gambian capital, Banjul

?Mrs Hepworth had never been abroad before, but abandoned her nine children and husband Andy(pictured) to fly out to be with him in the Gambian capital, Banjul

Mr Hepworth, also 44, who says the ordeal has been difficult for their children, as young as six, is convinced his wife's lover has brainwashed her.

He said: 'A caring mum wouldn't go off gallivanting around Africa with her new boyfriend. The person she has become is horrible. She was a loving, caring mum.'

But Mrs Hepworth defended her actions, telling The Sun: 'I don't have a single regret. I'm not a terrible parent.

'It was really hard for me to leave my kids, but they couldn't come with me so I had no choice.

'We are in love and nothing will stop me from marrying him. If other people don't like that they will just have to lump it.'

The couple have six children together and Mr Hepworth has raised the three children she had from a previous marriage as his own.

Mrs Hepworth(pictured) defended her actions, saying: 'I don't have a single regret. I'm not a terrible parent
Mrs Hepworth's tattoo

?Mrs Hepworth(pictured) defended her actions, saying: 'I don't have a single regret. I'm not a terrible parent

After she went to Gambian capital Banjul concerns were raised about the three youngest – aged six, nine and 11 – by a neighbour because Mrs Hepworth’s absence was so unusual.?

However, police later found them staying legally with their 29-year-old sister.

Mr Hepworth, who served in the Royal Navy for four years, added: ‘She had three children from a previous relationship but I brought them up as mine. We then had six of our own.

?The couple have six children together and Mr Hepworth has raised the three children she had from a previous marriage as his own

?The couple have six children together and Mr Hepworth has raised the three children she had from a previous marriage as his own

‘In becoming this new person she forgot about her family and they’re the most important people in all this.'

Mrs Hepworth previously told The Sun she had 'drifted apart' from her former husband. ?

Nearly half Gambia’s two million population live in poverty, and the average income is £8 per week.

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