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Wife's anguish at bench photo

PUBLISHED: 18:18 13 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

A WOMAN could not believe her eyes when she picked up a copy of a newspaper … and saw a picture of her missing estranged husband lying fast asleep on a bench in Ipswich.

A WOMAN could not believe her eyes when she picked up a copy of a newspaper … and saw a picture of her missing estranged husband lying fast asleep on a bench in Ipswich.

The man, whom Tracey Giles, 37, claims she married five years ago, was even wearing his wedding suit.

The picture, which was submitted by The Evening Star to its sister paper The Evening News, in Norwich, was published on the front of the Norfolk newspaper on Thursday to illustrate a story about a police blitz in the city on drinking in the streets.

But when Mrs Giles went to collect her local newspaper that day, she physically started to shake as she released the shabbily dressed man asleep on a bench was the man she married in 1996.

Mrs Giles, who has since changed her name, wants to get in touch with the man she believes to be 41-year-old Michael Oulds so she can divorce him.

"When I saw the picture it was like seeing a ghost," said Mrs Giles, who still lives in the Norwich area.

"The more I looked at the picture the more I thought it was him.

"It left me shaking and I had to shut the paper in the end.

"I need to get this divorce sorted out."

The pair met in February 1997 through a newspaper lonely hearts club column.

Mr Oulds was living in Peterborough at the time but after a whirlwind romance, the couple married in June and moved into Mrs Giles' Colman Road home in Norwich.

Within weeks it became clear the relationship was not working out and Mrs Giles banned Mr Oulds from the house in October 1997.

The last time she saw him was a few days later when she found him sleeping in her wood shed.

"He was a sweet talker," she said.

The photograph of the man on the bench was taken on the Cornhill in Ipswich in June 1999.

She said the suit he is wearing in the picture is the same one Mrs Giles's mother bought for him for the wedding day.

Mrs Giles said she had had reports of him being spotted throughout Norfolk and Suffolk.

"I've got a new partner now who I've had a five-month old baby with," she said.

"I'm the happiest I've ever been and want to be able to sever my ties and get on with my life."

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