Man charged with post office robberies in the city

A 49-year-old man held up staff in three separate post-office raids in Cork inside in a week in order to get money to travel to America to meet his fiancée whom he met online, gardai alleged when objecting to bail after charging the man with three separate robbery offences.

HSE Home Care Assistant, Fintan Tindley from Loughmahon Avenue, Mahon in Cork, was charged with robbery and attempted robbery of South Douglas Road Post Office on November 11th and November 18th and with robbery at Ballintemple Post Office on November 16th.

Today at a special sitting of Cork District Court, Detective Garda Kevin Motherway gave evidence of arresting Mr Tindley on South Douglas Road on November 18th at 1.45pm on suspicion of robbery and later charging him with all three offences to which he replied ‘I’m sorry’ after caution.

Inspector Sean Leahy said that Gardaí were objecting to bail for Mr Tindley and Det Garda Motherway outlined the grounds for the garda objection, including fears that he might commit furthers offences, fears that he was a flight risk and fears that he might interfere with witnesses if granted bail.

Detective Garda Motherway said that robbery is a serious offence which carries a sentence of up to life imprisonment and the evidence that Gardaí had gathered against Mr Tindley was exceptionally strong while he also had made admissions after caution at interview under camera.

He said that the state would allege that in the first raid on the South Douglas Road on November 11th, Mr Tindley entered the post-office wearing a hat and mask and grabbed a 77-year-old male customer and put a knife to his throat and demanded money and made off with €2,380.

He said that the state would allege that in the second robbery in Ballintemple, Mr Tindley again entered the post-office wearing a hat and mask and grabbed a 44-year-old woman and put a knife to her throat and demanded money from staff before making off with €1,300.

And he said that state would allege that in the third raid again on the South Douglas Road, Mr Tindley 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.

He said that that the state would allege that gardai had identified a Nissan Qashqai from CCTV footage relating to all three robberies and Gardaí arrested Mr Tindley sitting in a similar Nissan Qashqai at the Kevin O’Leary garage, 500 metres from the scene of the third raid.

He said that Gardaí would allege that they recovered a distinctive knife with a four-inch blade in the car, which the raider could be seen carrying on CCTV footage at all three raids while they also recovered distinctive clothing in the car which matched that worn by the raider in the robberies.

He said that Gardaí had also gathered CCTV footage which showed the accused changing clothes a short distance from Ballintemple Post Office shortly after the raid while they also recovered a hat near the scene of the robbery which Gardaí they believed they could link to the accused.

He said that Gardaí were also objecting to bail on the grounds that Mr Tindley was a flight risk as he had travelled to the United States in March and July to meet up with a woman called Skye whom he had met online and to whom he has since become engaged, and he was planning to visit again.

Detective Garda Motherway said the state would allege Mr Tindley has obtained loans of €27,000 from the credit union and €10,000 from An Post and that he had also borrowed €3,000 from the widow of one man whom he had home-helped and €400 from another pensioner whom he home-helped.

He had already sent some €19,000 to his fiancée, Skye and he had admitted at interview after caution that he had sent her the proceeds of the first two raids, totalling over €3,000, to her and that he was “desperate to travel again to the United States to meet her”.

Detective Garda Motherway said that Gardaí had examined Mr Tindley’s phone and found that he had been checking out a total of nine post-offices in the Cork area and Gardaí believed that he was looking at these as possible targets and that he would commit further robberies if granted bail.

They also believed that, given that he was a regular customer at Ballintemple Post Office and knew the staff there, he would interfere with witnesses if granted bail and they were also objecting to bail on this ground, said Det Garda Motherway.

Cross-examined by Mr Tindley’s solicitor, Daithi O Donnabhain, Det Garda Motherway confirmed that Mr Tindley had never come to Garda attention before, had no previous convictions and that his fiancée, Skye knew nothing of how he had obtained the money sent to her until contacted by Gardaí.

Judge Marion O’Leary said in the circumstances she was refusing Mr Tindley bail, and she remanded him in custody to appear again at Cork District Court on November 23rd by video link while she also granted him free legal aid after hearing he is now likely to lose his job as a HSE Home Care Assistant.


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