HSE worker who robbed post offices to pay for visit to US fiancee he met online may spend Christmas in prison
Posted on 21st December 2022 at 22:46
A HSE care worker who is accused of carrying out three post office raids in order to raise money to visit his fiancée in the US could spend Christmas in custody unless he can fund bail consisting of an independent surety of €5,000 and a cash lodgement of €500.
Fintan Tindley from Loughmahon Avenue, in Mahon, Cork appeared before Cork District Court on Wednesday in connection with charges of robbery and of attempted robbery at South Douglas Road Post Office on November 11th and November 18th and robbery at Ballintemple Post Office on November 16th. Both offices are in Cork City.
The court previously heard that 49 year old Tindley replied “I’m sorry” when charged under caution with all three offences.
Det Garda Kevin Motherway said that the accused travelled to the US twice this year in order to visit a woman called Skye to whom he is now engaged. The pair had struck up a relationship online.
Bail had previously been denied in the case as gardaí said Tindley was a flight risk as he had plans to visit his fiancee. The court had been told that Tindley had obtained loans of €27,000 from the credit union and €10,000 from An Post. He also borrowed €3,000 from the widow of a man who he had taken care of in the course of his work. It is alleged he also received €4,000 from another pensioner who he had attended as a home care assistant.
Det Garda Motherway told the court that Tindley had already sent €19,000 to his fiancee. This included money he allegedly stole during the first two raids which involved in excess of €3,000. The court heard that his fiancee had no idea where the funds had come from and was blameless in the alleged offence.
Det Garda Motherway said the accused was “desperate” to be reunited with his fiancee in the States. Det Garda Motherway said the evidence against Tindley was exceptionally strong. He said the State would allege that in the first raid on the South Douglas Road on November 11th, Tindley went into the post-office wearing a hat and mask. It is claimed that Tindley then grabbed a man in his seventies and put a knife to his throat demanding money before making off with €2,380.
In the second robbery in Ballintemple, Tindley again allegedly entered the post-office, wearing a hat and mask, then grabbed a 44-year-old woman and put a knife to her throat while demanding money from staff before making off with €1,300. In the third raid again on the South Douglas Road, he allegedly entered the post-office, wearing a hat and mask and grabbed a 44-year-old woman and demanded money but fled empty-handed when a staff member pressed a panic alarm button.
Det Garda Motherway said gardaí examined Mr Tindley’s phone and found he had been googling nine post-offices in the Cork area and gardaí believe he was looking at these as possible targets. They believe he planned to commit further robberies if granted bail. They also believed that, given he was a regular customer at Ballintemple Post Office and knew the staff there, he would interfere with witnesses if granted bail.
Det Garda Motherway confirmed that Tindley had never come to Garda attention before and had no previous convictions. His fiancee Skye knew nothing of how he had obtained the money sent to her until contacted by gardaí. Judge Olann Kelleher was told on Wednesday by Sergeant Gearóid Davis that no directions had been received from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Tindley’s solicitor, Daithí Ó Donnabháin said his client is now remanded in custody with consent to High Court bail. “We are examining to see if we can comply with the conditions in terms or surety and address,” he said. Judge Kelleher remanded him in continuing custody with consent to bail of an independent surety of €5,000 and a cash lodgement of €500. He is due before the court again on January 4th.
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