Ukrainian love story pairs a billionaire's daughter with a Leeds rocker

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The Independent Online

Sean Carr, 36, who used to run a chain of shoe-repair shops in Leeds and Bradford, married Yevgenia Tymoshenko, 25, in a 16th-century hilltop monastery in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital.

His image and past have caused controversy in Ukraine, where Yevgenia's mother is one of the country's leading politicians and a woman tipped to win back her job as Prime Minister next year.

The Tymoshenkos are a wealthy and powerful family. Julia Tymoshenko is known as the Goddess of the (Orange) Revolution because of the role she played in helping Viktor Yushchenko to overturn the results of a rigged election and win power in December last year.

She went on to become Prime Minister but lost her job last month when President Yushchenko sacked the government over a corruption scandal. Ms Tymoshenko has since vowed to stand against Mr Yushchenko in elections next year.

Yevgenia has lived in the UK since the age of 14 and is in the process of completing her studies at the London School of Economics. She met Mr Carr while on holiday in Egypt last year.

His background is rather different from his new wife's. He sings in a band called the Death Valley Screamers, rides a Harley Davidson motorbike, owns a rottweiler called Salem and has a giant tattoo on his stomach of an alien "escaping".

His band plays in Kiev's local bars and recently released its first CD in Ukraine, which appears to be selling well.

He also has a young daughter by a former partner who has given an interview to a British tabloid newspaper in which she said that Mr Carr regularly beat her up and in 2002 broke her teeth, upper jaw and collarbone.

Mr Carr was found guilty of assault and was sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to take relationship and anger management counselling.

He and his new partner were initially reported to be planning a wedding at Ripley Castle in Yorkshire but to have changed their plans to avoid adverse publicity.

If Julia Tymoshenko has any doubts about her new son-in-law she has not expressed them publicly, saying only that Mr Carr is a "kind, educated and inspired person" who makes Yevgenia, her daughter, very happy and appears to "adore" her.

The wedding ceremony went smoothly yesterday. There was bagpipe music and Ukrainian folk songs and Mr Carr and the Death Valley Screamers were due to perform at the reception afterwards.

Many of the some 150 guests sported colourful tattoos and piercings. The couple briefly posed for photographs but had decided they would not take questions from journalists.

The duo have said they intend to settle in Ukraine and start a family.

Journalists were anxious to see whether Mr Yushchenko would attend the wedding in order to ascertain the state of relations between him and Julia Tymoshenko, but he did not appear to have been invited.

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