The 44-year-old made an emergency trip to the Gold Coast to win Sophie back after she arrived home from her Thailand getaway.
Sitting in the lobby of a Gold Coast hotel late last week, the father-of-four was caught swiping through images of the former couple, as an episode of the Channel Ten dating show went live.
'He look absolutely devastated,' an onlooker tells New Idea. 'He sat there for ages just swiping through photos of Sophie and him together. He looking like a broken man and he didn't seem to care in the slightest that everyone could see what he was doing on his phone. I think he really does want her back.
Last week, rumours surfaced that the blonde beauty, 37, had dumped the self-confessed 'playboy publican' because he was seeing another woman.
According to insiders, Stu's trip to the Gold Coast is a peace-making mission and a last-ditch effort to convince Sophie to give him another chance.
'They've got to keep up appearances so the whole show isn't ruined,' the source says. 'But I really do think he does love her as well.'
Meanwhile, a woman, who asked to be unnamed, has sent a warning to Sophie that Stu will break the Bachelorette's heart.
'He has dated every girl in Sydney,' the source says.
The mystery woman says she dated Stu off-and-on for a couple of months two years ago, before he broke her heart - and now she wants to alert Sophie before the same thing happens to her.
'I want to warn Sophie off him because he's a real heartbreaker,' the source says.
For the full story see this weeks issue of New Idea.