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‘He’s a dirty rat but I hate her even more’: Newly-wed husband cheats with his wife’s best friend

Chantelle’s husband is long gone after she rumbled his affair with her best friend – who was also engaged to his mate

  • 01:00, 8 FEB 2013
  • Updated 03:44, 8 FEB 2013

AS Victoria Pamment walks down the aisle next month, at least one person will be conspicuous by her absence.

Former best friend Chantelle Cartwright will be at home, surveying the wreckage left in the wake of the not-so-happy union.

Her husband Peter is long gone after she rumbled his affair with Victoria – then engaged to his mate Darren Bagshall, who had asked him to be best man at their wedding.

After Darren also discovered the shock truth just a month before the ceremony, he stormed round to Peter’s house with an axe in his pocket before being arrested and narrowly evading a jail sentence.

Darren, who called off the wedding at the time, has now forgiven Victoria and next month – a year on from his trauma – will marry the fiancée who cheated on him.

But Chantelle, who has two children with Peter, is still in no mood to forgive.

“There’s no way in a million years I’ll be going to the wedding,” she fumes. “I wouldn’t even talk to them if I saw them in the street.”

The bitter end to the couples’ friendship has not surprisingly left Chantelle seeking a divorce from her husband of eight years.

She refers to him as a “dirty rat” but adds: “To be honest, Victoria’s behaviour was the ultimate betrayal. I feel more cross towards her than I do to my husband.”

The now-broken friendship began years ago soon after Darren, 37, and Victoria, 31, moved in together at Braintree, Essex, and met Peter, 37, and Chantelle, 32, who lived two doors down. In 2011 the four went on a summer holiday together to Cornwall.

And when Darren announced his engagement to Victoria, he immediately asked Peter to be his best man.

The couples excitedly planned the big day, set for April last year.

But Chantelle recalls how in December 2011 – just five months before the wedding – she looked out of her back window to see her husband kissing Victoria in the garden.

The outraged mum confronted Peter, who denied any affair.

But she reveals she then hacked into his Facebook account and found he was secretly arranging to meet Victoria.

“I’ve kept a dignified silence all through this affair,” says Chantelle, “but I’ll have my say now.

"It’s time to put the story straight. Peter treated me like dirt and brought all of this on himself.

“He and Victoria grew increasingly close. Whenever Darren and his fiancée were here, Peter and Victoria would be out in the back garden, drinking and smoking cigarettes.

"I was suspicious.”

Chantelle says Darren also heard rumours of the affair but refused to believe them and was in denial.

She claims the lovers exchanged more than 400 texts in three weeks and met in secret while car hire worker Chantelle and HGV driver Darren were at work.

The bridegroom discovered the secret relationship less than a month before his wedding last April and called it off.

Peter confessed to Chantelle – and Darren cut all ties with his best man.

But his rage at the betrayal grew and he decided to confront Peter last December.

He had a hand axe in his pocket and drunkenly kicked down a fence then banged on his ex-pal’s door.

Darren was arrested by police and appeared this week at Colchester magistrates court, where he was given a six-week suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to possessing an offensive weapon, criminal damage and harassment.

Prosecutor Remi Alabi told the court: “Police were called to an address in Braintree with reports of a domestic incident.

“Bagshall said he had come to speak to Peter Cartwright, who had slept with his wife about a year ago.

"He had also kicked a picket fence. He was banging on the door and saying, ‘Come out, I want to speak to you’.

“In his interview he said he had been drinking and talking to friends about his girlfriend having slept with his best pal, and it was disturbing him.

"He said he didn’t know the axe was in his pocket.”

Darren’s forgiveness for care home worker Victoria incredibly means they still have a future together after their wedding on March 19.

Chantelle says: “I can actually understand why Darren did what he did. His best mate has gone off and had an affair with his fiancée.

"I don’t blame him one little bit – you can see why he was angry. But I don’t know why he has taken Victoria back again.

“I think he’s stupid, I really do. He’s an absolute fool, as she’s only going to do it again.

"She was my best friend – or at least I thought she was – but with friends like that who needs enemies?

“I trusted Victoria but she was two-faced. She would be giving me relationship advice, yet she was seeing my husband behind my back.

"I invited her into my home and let her know all the difficulties I was having, yet she was doing all of that. I just blank her now, even though she was my best friend.

“I confided in her over everything and for someone to do that to you really hurts. And there has been no apology or anything from her.”

Chantelle, who met carpenter Peter when she was 17, still lives in Braintree, where she looks after their daughter, five, and three-year-old son.

“His affair was the final nail in the coffin for our marriage and now I’m divorcing him,” she says.

“I was devastated when I found out. We’d been together years and I was in pieces when I realised what had been going on.

"It felt like the ultimate betrayal and my head was spinning. I was upset and angry and in tears.

"But I had to stay strong for the children and give them a stable home to grow up in.

“At the end of the day my duty is to be a good mother and protect them.”

She goes on: “When I first saw Peter and Victoria kissing, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d been with him since I was 17 and had two children with him.

“So I didn’t want to believe it was true and part of me deep down wanted to believe it was not happening.

“It hit me so hard. These were the two people I trusted most. There were a lot of tears and also anger when I found out. I lost 3st. I wasn’t eating or sleeping.

“There was a lot of screaming and shouting – but to be honest, as soon as he finally confessed I knew my marriage was over and I could move on.

“I’d suggested so many things to get the marriage back on track, like counselling, but just couldn’t get Peter to go along.

"I even talked to him about moving from the area to get away from her but he wasn’t interested.

“When I finally realised that it was all over, it was like wiping the slate clean and I knew I could get on with my life, rather than it being up in the air and in limbo. But Peter was only interested in his own selfish needs.”

Peter has now moved to Stansted, Essex, and is believed to have a new girlfriend. But his estranged wife says: “He’s a dirty rat and I feel really sorry for the girl he’s with now because I don’t know if she is really aware of what he’s like.”

Darren Bagshall told the Mirror last night: “This was all dealt with in court and was a one-off. Now I just want to get on with my life.

“Of course me and Peter are no longer friends.

"This is not the Jeremy Kyle show, this is my life we are talking about.

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