Thursday 17 January 2019

'I will spend the day crying' - Tina's husband a year on

Richard Satchwell, Tina’s husband, pictured at Youghal Harbour
Richard Satchwell, Tina’s husband, pictured at Youghal Harbour
Tina Satchwell

Ralph Riegel

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the disappearance of Tina Satchwell - with her husband Richard stating that he will be "crying for most of the day".

The anniversary coincides with the winding down of a massive search operation in a Cork forest which gardaí had hoped would yield some clues as to the fate of a woman whose life revolved around her family, fashion and her beloved pets.

Despite a huge search of Mitchel's Wood outside Castlemartyr over the past fortnight, detectives are no closer to solving the mystery over Tina's disappearance.

Gardaí under Supt Colm Noonan, thanks to the massive publicity the search enjoyed, now have 250 lines of inquiry to pursue, some 30 more than when the woodland search started on March 5.

But in two Cork towns, Tina's disappearance remains the dominant topic of conversation.

Tina (45) was born and raised in Fermoy, but relocated in 2016 to the seaside town of Youghal, some 45km away.

She moved to England in her late teens and it was there she met her future husband, Richard Satchwell.

The high profile the search operation has enjoyed over the past fortnight has almost entirely been down to the astonishing blitz of radio and TV interviews conducted by Mr Satchwell.

His interviews, including TV3, Ireland AM, RTÉ's 'Prime Time' and 'Ray D'Arcy Show' and RedFM, have been jaw-dropping.

In one astonishing interview, with Neil Prendeville on RedFM, Mr Satchwell revealed he had been beaten by his wife, and had served a prison sentence for social welfare fraud.

He said that Tina's best friend believed she was now living in the UK and, bizarrely, that his wife was memorising UK social welfare details before her disappearance.

He revealed he was also effectively ostracised by his family for falling in love with an Irish woman.

Critically, he further insisted that while his wife was suffering from depression and told him she never wanted to take anti-depressants, she was not the type of person to self-harm.

He was also convinced she had not had an affair.

Tina told people that: "I would never do anything to hurt Richard."

The truck driver has interpreted this as meaning there was no one else for Tina except him - but that she had personal problems and needed time alone to deal with them.

Yesterday, on Today FM's 'Sunday Brunch' programme, Mr Satchwell said he still believes that his wife Tina is still alive.

When asked if he will be marking March 20, he replied: "Honestly, knowing me, I'll just sit in the house and cry for the day."

He has also confirmed he effectively split from his English family after falling in love with Tina.

"Basically my family are anti-Irish - I never spoke to my mother again before she died. My mother was dead for six months before I knew about it. I was given an ultimatum when I met Tina. I chose Tina.

"When I was brought up in school, all we heard about Ireland was the IRA. Basically people are prejudiced."

Mr Satchwell has also spoken about spending time in prison.

"I was caught...what they call social welfare fraud. I was working while claiming social welfare. That was here (in Ireland)," he said.

"As regards being in jail? Want the truth? I think I would sooner be there than where I am now."

Mr Satchwell insisted he never hit his wife.

"The most I have ever done is hold her in my arms tightly until she calmed down. She is my life.

"I have never once in nearly 30 years of being together laid a finger on her."

He also claimed: "The media don't care about my feelings or Tina's feelings - they just want to make me look bad. They want to turn the public on me."

Mr Satchwell said he is even willing to undergo a lie detector test, organised by one media outlet, once he feels well enough for it.

"I have nothing to hide. At the moment, I just feel too low in myself (to sit the test)."

Irish Independent

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