Ex-wife of missing Briton Sarm Heslop's boyfriend 'lived in fear'

‘There was never a day I did not fear him’: Ex-wife of missing Sarm Heslop’s US boyfriend says he was a ‘Jekyll and Hyde character’ and she ‘slept with a shotgun throughout our divorce’

  • Briton Sarm Heslop, 41, went missing in the US Virgin Islands on March 7 
  • Boyfriend Ryan Bane, 44, reported her missing but has refused to let officers search the boat on which the couple were staying 
  • Now Bane’s ex-wife, Corie Stevenson, has told how she ‘lived in fear’ of him 
  • Corie said he was a ‘Jekyll and Hyde character’ during their marriage, was physically abusive, and she slept with a shotgun during their divorce 

The ex-wife of missing Briton Sarm Heslop’s boyfriend has described how she lived in fear of him during their marriage and slept with a shotgun as they divorced.

Corie Stevenson, 43, who was married to 44-year-old Ryan Bane between 2008 and 2014, described him as a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ character who was pleasant in public but became abusive and violent behind closed doors.

The abuse reached a head in 2011 when Bane attacked Corie at their home in Ohio, leaving her with a blood face and a chipped tooth. She reported the attack to police, and he served 21 days in jail for it.

While Corie allowed Bane back into the house afterwards, she said ‘there was never a day when I didn’t fear him’.

In 2013 Bane was jailed again for violating his probation which ordered him not to see Cori, and the pair divorced the following year.

Now, Bane is once again being questioned by police over Miss Heslop’s disappearance after she vanished in mysterious circumstances aboard his boat which was moored in the US Virgin Islands on March 7. 

British Sarm Heslop, 41 (left), vanished in the early hours of March 7 while on board a yacht belonging to American boyfriend Ryan Bane (right) while it was moored in the Virgin Islands

Cori Stevenson (right), Bane’s ex-wife, has now spoken out to accuse him of being a ‘Jekyll and Hyde character’ during their marriage, saying she lived in fear of him 

Bane says he was awoken by the ship’s anchor alarm, which detects when the boat is drifting from its moorings, around 2am and found Miss Heslop – who he met on Tinder eight months prior – missing.

He called police around 2.30am who told him to report the incident to the Coast Guard, but he did not call them until 11.46am.

Police say Bane has handed over all of Miss Heslop’s possessions which were left on board the vessel, but has denied officers permission to search the boat themselves.

Searches of the coastline where the boat was moored and inland from the spot have turned up no trace of her. 

Family and friends say the disappearance is out of character, and that the timeline of Bane’s calls to police and coastguard ‘makes no sense.’

Now, in an interview with The Sun, ex-wife Cori has made terrifying claims about their relationship and Bane’s history of violence.

Cori said Bane was pleasant in public but abusive behind closed doors – once beating her so badly she chipped a tooth

‘He was a total Jekyll and Hyde character,’ she said. ‘He would have a good week, and then all of a sudden he changed. 

‘There was never a day when I didn’t fear him. I slept with a shotgun the whole time I went through my divorce.’

Police records reveal more details about the 2011, which Cori says happened as the pair were returning from a wedding and Bane flew into a rage. 

‘Ryan continually got frustrated with her asking for directions while he was trying to sleep.’ When they got home at 5am, ‘Ryan grabbed her and dragged her out of the truck,’ officers wrote.

‘Ryan grabbed her in the dining room, threw her to the ground, and smashed her head in to the floor, chipping one of her teeth.’

Police said there were clear signs of a struggle, noting that Stevenson’s ‘right tooth had a chip out of it, her right ear lobe was bloody and scratched, her right shoulder and side of her neck showed red scratches…’. 

Bane was taken to police cells before appearing in court charged with domestic violence. Despite having told officers he was ‘defending himself’, he pleaded guilty and was jailed for 21 days. 

Cori told The Sun that the incident also left her with finger marks around her neck, and black and blue bruises on her face.

Police reports also allege that Bane had previously assaulted her, an incident that went unreported at the time but she claims left her off work with facial bruises.

The report also states that ‘Ryan has been becoming increasingly verbally abusive.’  

Cori now lives in Melbourne, Florida, with her new fiance – Ralph Carpenter – who spoke to Dailymail.com about her history with Bane. 

 ‘He must have beat her up 100 times while they were together,’ Carpenter said. 

Stevenson now says that she is communicating with the Virgin Islands police about Bane’s past and has provided authorities with court documents related to their marriage and divorce. 

Speaking to DailyMail.com, Stevenson and her new fiance Carpenter say that they suspect foul play in Heslop’s disappearance. 

The couple said that Bane’s father has flown to the Virgin Islands to be with his son.  

On Sunday March 7, Heslop vanished from Bane’s 47ft yacht, the Siren Song, moored off the coast of St John in the U.S. Virgin Islands and hasn’t been seen since.

According to Bane, the couple had been for dinner in a restaurant, leaving at 10pm in line with the local Covid curfew and taking their dinghy back to the vessel, anchored 120ft from secluded Frank Bay.

They went to sleep, Bane says, and when he woke at 2am after his yacht’s anchor alarm sounded, Heslop had gone.

Bane called the Coast Guard’s San Juan station reporting that ‘his girlfriend may have fallen’ from the yacht. 

Police searching for the missing 41-year-old from Southampton, England have been scouring land and sea off the island of St John, where the yacht was moored. 

But the officers have been stopped from stepping foot on the Siren Song by Bane who is not cooperating.

Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) spokesman Toby Derima said officers had performed an ‘initial land search’, adding on the BBC: ‘Soon after reporting Ms Heslop missing, Mr Bane acquired the services of an attorney.

‘Upon his attorney’s advice, Mr Bane exercised his constitutional right to remain silent and denied officers’ requests to search the vessel.’ 

It has been widely reported that Bane, who is still on board Siren Song, waited almost ten hours to report his girlfriend missing. 

His lawyer, David Cattie, has said this is ‘categorically false’ and that, in fact, Ryan called the police at 2.30am after discovering she had disappeared.

Police searching for the missing 41-year-old from Southampton, England have been scouring land and sea off the island of St John, where the yacht was moored 

A search of land and sea was undereway by the police and an army of local volunteers. Their efforts have dredged up no discoveries as to Sarm’s whereabouts. Pictured is the Siren Song catamaran

But while Heslop’s friends have launched desperate appeals for information, Bane has yet to speak publicly about her, save for a brief statement that was released through his lawyer.

‘Mr Bane’s only hope is that Sarm is found alive and well,’ it read.

‘His thoughts and prayers are with Sarm and her family… Mr Bane has spent countless hours searching for Sarm, and will continue to do so. Ryan is devastated that Sarm is missing.’  

This comes as a friend of Heslop’s in the UK said they were told that her phone, passport and belongings had all been left behind on the yacht.

The friend added: ‘We would like to thank all the local community for their support in searching for Sarm both on water and land.

‘They have been so amazing but we urge them not to give up until she is found or we have more information.’

Heslop’s friends insist they are not ‘pointing fingers’ at Bane but are calling on the American, who moved to the Caribbean in 2015, ‘to provide as many details as possible’ 

She was on board the Siren Song with American yachtsman, Captain Ryan Bane. He has yet to speak publicly about her, except for a brief statement that was released through his lawyer

Heslop’s friends insist they are not ‘pointing fingers’ at Bane but are calling on the American, who moved to the Caribbean in 2015, ‘to provide as many details as possible’. 

Heslop is described as a slim woman with a southern English accent and a tattoo on her left shoulder.   

Police spokesman Toby Derima said: ‘Divers from various law enforcement agencies have searched hundreds of square feet of water for Heslop.

Volunteers from the Virgin Islands have also scoured the area around Cruz Bay during daylight hours, police said.

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