A 47-year-old bus driver has revealed how he was branded a "paedo" and ‘hounded’ from his home in North Wales after falling in love with his friend’s 16-year-old daughter.
Andy has been married to Beth Telford, who is now aged 19, for three years and they have returned to their hometown of Llandudno in TV show Age Gap Love for the first time since they were ‘driven out’.
The couple met through Beth’s mum and started a relationship when she turned 16, but their lives were turned upside down when locals found out about their love.
Beth is now estranged from her disapproving mother but the couple, who married in November 2016, are desperate to return home.
Andy recalled the abuse he suffered after news of their relationship spread, including the time the word "paedo" was scrawled on his van.
"To say it was really dark days, I can’t stress to you enough – that’s mild," he said.
"They made me feel like I was some sort of animal because I’m going out with a younger girl.
"No, I’m going out with a younger girl because this girl has asked me to go out with her which is a privilege to me and an honour to me to find someone that thinks that of me."
The couple married in a small ceremony in North Wales and now live 170 miles away in Lancashire with their two sons, Timmy, two, and one-year-old Conway.
Beth explained how the 28-year age gap had never bothered her, saying: "I’ve always wanted to make a family… so I just thought Andy would be the perfect man to do so.
"The age doesn’t bother me, it never has done. I don’t see him as an old man or my dad or anything like that."
For the show Age Gap Love, which will air on Channel 5 this week, the couple travelled back to their old home in Wales for a family holiday.
They haven’t been back since they left two years ago but have revealed that their "end goal" is to return permanently – although they don’t think it’ll be easy.
"Forty years I’ve lived in Wales, my mum’s been here, my grandma’s been here," Andy says.
"Not to be where you were brought up where all your memories are and your family, it’s very tough, it doesn’t get any easier.
"It kills me inside all the time. I don’t want to be treated any differently… we are Beth and Andy and that’s it, isn’t it?"
"The best way to describe our marriage is no different from three years ago, we’re best mates," he added.
"…What do I fancy about Beth… like any normal red hot blooded male, she’s beautiful, she’s vibrant, her character’s fantastic, just everything about her.
"And I think she sees in me security – I’m a comfortable pair of slippers.
"And I’m gorgeous apparently."
Age Gap Love is on Channel 5 on Tuesday. November 6 at 10.15pm.
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