A former healthcare assistant who is accused of making knifepoint death threats during post office raids he allegedly carried out in order to raise money to visit his fiancee in the US is to be sent forward for trial.
Fintan Tindley, who has no previous convictions, is charged in connection with a number of post office robberies which occurred in Cork in November of 2022.
Cork District Court previously heard evidence in the case from Det Garda Kevin Motherway who said that the 49-year-old accused had travelled to the US twice last year in order to visit a woman called Skye.
The pair had become engaged after they struck up a relationship online. Det Garda Motherway said that Mr Tindley had told him he was “desperate” to be reunited with his fiancee in the States.
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On Wednesday at Cork District Court, Sgt John Kelleher said that the book of evidence had been served on Mr Tindley, via his solicitor Daithi O’Donnabhain.
Judge Olann Kelleher heard that the DPP direction in the case is that that Mr Tindley, who has an address in Loughmahon Avenue in Mahon, Cork, be sent forward for trial to the next sitting of Cork Circuit Criminal Court in April. He will be tried in connection with all nine offences to which he has been charged.
Free legal aid has been assigned in the case. Mr Tindley was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on April 17 next.
Mr Tindley has been charged with the alleged robbery and attempted robbery of South Douglas Road Post Office on November 11 and November 18, 2022. He is also charged with robbery at Ballintemple Post Office on November 16, 2022.
He also faces charges of making death threats to a man at South Douglas Road Post Office on November 11, 2022, to a woman in Ballintemple Post Office on November 16, 2022, and to a woman on South Douglas Road Post Office on November 18, 2022.
Mr Tindley also faces three charges of producing a knife at the South Douglas Road Post Office on November 11, 2022 and again seven days later in the same post office. He is also charged with producing a knife at Ballintemple Post Office on November 16, 2022.
Meanwhile, the accused was described as a “flight risk” at a previous hearing of the case in November of last year. Det Garda Motherway told the court 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 whom he had taken care of in the course of his work. It is alleged that he also received €4,000 from another pensioner whom he had attended on during the course of his work.
Det Garda Motherway said that Tindley had already sent some €19,000 to his fiancee. This included money he allegedly stole during the first two raids which involved an amount in excess €3,000. The court heard that Skye had no idea where the funds had come from and was blameless in the alleged offence.
Det Garda Motherway said that the evidence against Tindley was exceptionally strong. He told a special weekend sitting of the court last November that gardaí examined Mr Tindley’s phone and found that he had been googling a total of nine post-offices in the Cork area.
Gardaí also told the court that 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. Det Garda Motherway confirmed that Tindley had never come to garda attention prior to his alleged involvement in the post office offences.