Builder Craig Arnolds returned home from New York to find the locks changed – and six students in his lounge
Wife Laura, aged 42, had packed her bags and gone.
She took the extreme measure after discovering an incriminating message on her partner’s iPhone.
She was able to sell the Nuneaton property behind Craig’s back because her parents had taken over the mortgage after the pair ran into financial difficulties.
The place was flogged within a fortnight through website www.sellhousefast.uk – and occupied by students from the University of Warwick.
Laura told The Sunday Mercury : “Things aren’t great between us at the moment.
“I could do it because my parents came up with the deposit for our home and when we struggled with the mortgage, they came in.”
She decided to get back at 44-year-old Craig after he forgot his iPhone 6 when on a business trip to America.
When the phone flashed an unknown number, suspicious Laura swooped. The steamy message was from an American woman who described the kind of hot reception Craig could expect in New York.
It was then she hatched her revenge plot.
Craig, who now lives in London, described the baffling scene that greeted him at the former family home.
He smelt a rat when he spotted a Nissan Micra on the drive. “All the lights were on and the TV was blaring,” he said.
“I remember thinking it was really out of character for Laura to be up past 11pm. I had no idea what on earth was going on.
“At this point I was seriously freaked out, jet lagged and frantic – I started banging on the door and shouting Laura’s name – but was greeted instead by what looked like a 21-year-old hippie.”
The terrible truth dawned on Craig when he walked into the property.
He added: ‘I noticed all Laura’s furniture was gone, but the chairs and tables I’d inherited from my late father, plus my set of golf clubs and vintage radio – which Laura always hated – was sitting on the kitchen table in all its glory.
“She’d included my most prized possessions in the ‘fixtures and fittings’. I was gutted. I still can’t get my head around how she did this in the space of a two week holiday.”
A spokesman for www.sellhousefast.uk said: “Looking back now, I suppose Mrs Arnold did seem unusually desperate to sell up and pretty urgently, but at the time I thought nothing of it.”
Craig told The Mercury wryly: “Last time I marry an Italian, that’s for sure.
“I made a mistake and paid for it dearly.
“I was very annoyed at first but life is too short to dwell on these things and I made the decision that for the children’s sake, we should stop the hostilities there.
“Who knows, maybe by getting this out of her system will allow us to build on the existing amicable relationship?”
But he did admit: “What I would really like to say is a little more colourful than that so probably wont be printable.”