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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 11:11 GMT
Foster mother marries 'son', 21
Julia and Krenar Lleshi
Julia and Krenar Lleshi at their wedding in Nantyglo
A mother has married her foster son, seven years after she took him in as a teenage refugee from Eastern Europe.

Julia Gregg, 34, from Ebbw Vale, and her then husband gave a home to Kosovan Krenar Lleshi after he arrived in south Wales in the back of a lorry.

But after her marriage broke down, Ms Gregg fell in love with Mr Lleshi, then 19 but now aged 21.

They married in a quiet church service, with just two witnesses. Their one-year-old daughter was bridesmaid.

The new Mrs Lleshi said: "I know how much people have gossiped about us and we wanted it to be a very special, very private occasion.

"I didn't even tell my sisters - when they found out they were shocked. I wanted to keep it as something between me and Krenar."

'Supportive'

Mr Lleshi arrived in Britain in 1999 as a 14-year-old after stowing away with a friend in the back of a lorry.

He was taken into local authority care and fostered by Julia and her then husband Steve, who had cared for more than 20 teenagers.

Mr Lleshi, who works as a plumber, was given "exceptional leave" to stay in Britain by the Home Office because all his family had also fled Kosovo and there was no-one for him to return to.

The couple's one-year-old daughter Hattie was a bridesmaid at their wedding at a church in Nantyglo.

Julia said: "It was one of the happiest days of my life. It felt wonderful as I said my vows to Krenar. We were both very emotional.

"It was very important to us to be married.

"So many people have been so supportive towards us. It's lovely to finally show the world how in love we are."

Krenar said: "I am really happy with Julia and Hattie."



SEE ALSO
Foster mother has baby with 'son'
18 Jan 07 |  South East Wales
Kosovan asylum appeal refused
12 Aug 03 |  Wales

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