Saturday 24 March 2018

'Items of interest' discovered in the woodland search for missing Tina Satchwell

  • Items of interest discovered in major garda search in Mitchel's Wood in Castlemartyr
  • Garda sources confirm that man who claimed he spotted Tina near a Dublin beach last January was 'well-intentioned but mistaken or confused'
  • Husband Richard said he was continuing with a blitz of broadcast interviews in the hope it would generate further leads on Tina's case
  • Richard Satchwell says criticism of his media appearances is unfair
'Someone had to give a helping hand [to Tina] somewhere, you can't just up and leave without help from anybody' - Richard Satchwell
'Someone had to give a helping hand [to Tina] somewhere, you can't just up and leave without help from anybody' - Richard Satchwell
Richard Satchwell, Tina’s husband, pictured at Youghal Harbour
Tina Satchwell (46) went missing from her Youghal home in Co Cork on March 20, 2017
Tina Satchwell from Youghal Co Cork

Ralph Riegel and Sasha Brady

GARDAÍ have sent items of interest found in the search of woodlands for missing woman Tina Satchwell (45) to the State Laboratory for forensic testing.

The items, which are understood to include fragments of clothing, were found during the search of Mitchel's Wood outside Castlemartyr in east Cork for Tina who vanished last year.

However, a garda source said it is still unclear if the items are in any way connected to the missing person's case.

It is understood a quantity of material was illegally dumped at the sprawling forestry and detectives want the forensic tests conducted as a precautionary measure.

Tina Satchwell (46) went missing from her Youghal home in Co Cork on March 20, 2017
Tina Satchwell (46) went missing from her Youghal home in Co Cork on March 20, 2017

Gardaí, supported by Defence Forces engineering units and Search Dogs UK, now have more than half the 40 acre search zone combed over the past eight days.

The search has been extended to include streams, rivers and bogland in the area.

These areas will be examined with the support of the Garda Sub Aqua Unit.

Gardaí now have 250 different lines of inquiry in their search for Tina - an increase of 30 on last week.

Tina (45) vanished without trace from her home in Youghal, Co Cork on March 20 2017.

Richard Satchwell said he trusts gardaí 100pc in their search and said that he has cooperated with them from the start, even calling them to advise that he was selling his car last September.

Appearing on the Neil Prenderville Show on Cork's RedFM this morning, Mr Satchwell said he decided to sell the car as he had become tired of journalists following him on the road.

He called gardaí in Middleton at the time to advise them of his plans and said he was asked to bring the car to the garda station first.

When asked by Neil if that was the first time the gardaí had searched his car, Mr Satchwell said he believes it was.

He claimed that gardai never conducted a forensic exam on his car, even without his knowledge, prior to September - six months after Tina disappeared.

A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana told that "it is our policy not to comment on on-going investigations".

The latest breakthrough in the search came as Mr Satchwell said being told a witness who claimed he spotted her on a Dublin beach was not credible was like "having a bucket of cold water chucked over me."

Mr Satchwell referred to the man's information on RTE's Ray Darcy Show last Saturday night - but it emerged the same individual had offered information about the case of missing schoolboy Philip Cairns.

Garda sources said the man was "genuine but either mistaken or confused."

The English-born truck driver said he was continuing with a blitz of broadcast interviews in the hope it would generate further leads on Tina's case.

But he confirmed he will not do newspaper interviews as he believes his words "were being twisted."

He also said that criticism of his media appearances is unfair.

Speaking with Gerry Murray on Youghal's Cry104 FM on Saturday, Mr Satchwell responded to those on social media who have accused him of "loving the sound of his own voice".

He said that "people are entitled to their own opinions".

"If I'm not talking I'm doing wrong and if I'm talking I'm doing wrong," he said.

Mr Satchwell has said he is a "fish out of water" when speaking to the media and said that he has turned down a number of interview requests from newspapers, TV and radio.

He said that he was asked by TV3 to visit the site where gardaí are searching for missing Tina.

"The way it was put to me, basically the way I'm doing stuff people might pick up the fact I don't care when I do so I drove down and did the interview. It's not that I like the sound of my own voice, I've turned interviews down," he said.

When asked what he would say to those who believe he had anything to do with Tina's disappearance, Mr Satchwell said: "I say go and talk to people who know us. It's easy for people who don't know us, [don't] know me, [don't] know Tina, to draw conclusions.

Gardai searching at Mitchell’s Wood, Castlemartyr, Co Cork, for evidence relating to the disappearance of Tina Satchwell. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision.
Gardai searching at Mitchell’s Wood, Castlemartyr, Co Cork, for evidence relating to the disappearance of Tina Satchwell. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision.

This morning on the Neil Prenderville Show, Mr Satchwell was asked to do a lie detector test on-air but refused as he's "feeling tired and unwell". He has previously said he was would be willing to do one as he has nothing to hide.

"I've had no sleep in a week," he said this morning. "I've been up and down in Dublin. I need a break. I need a rest. I've also promised another member of the media that when I do [a lie detector test] it will be with them," he said.


It has emerged that Tina, in the days before her disappearance on March 20 2017, told some people that: "I would never do anything to hurt Richard - I love him too much."

Mr Satchwell insisted he does not believe his wife was having an affair - merely that she was battling depression and may have needed some time away.

The truck driver said his wife was first noted to be depressed in 2012. He said a specific incident caused her great upset. However, he has refused to speak about it out of respect for Tina and her family.

"It could be the one thing in life that could push her over the edge and I am not going to take that responsibility," he told RedFM.

He said that putting the information into the public sphere would take a lot of weight off his shoulders but refused to say anything more.

Mr Satchwell also explained that just before Christmas his wife asked him for information on his English national insurance number, his PPS number and details about their GP. He said that she wrote the information down.

When asked if he thought that was suspicious, Mr Satchwell said that he didn't. He said his wife often wrote things down in an effort to improve her memory.

"When you look back in hindsight [it's suspicious] but you don't see that at the time, you're too close. You don't spot every little thing in your relationship when you're happy," he said.

He said he was not angry at what has happened.

"She knows how I feel about her, she knows she doesn't even have to come back and say sorry. She knows if she turned up on my door this morning I wouldn't say anything," he said.


Tina Satchwell from Youghal Co Cork
Tina Satchwell from Youghal Co Cork

On the day Tina vanished, her husband had gone on a brief errand to Dungarvan and Tina was not at their home when he returned.

Tina had left her keys and beloved dog, Ruby, behind.

Mr Satchwell thought she had gone away to deal with personal problems and he did not alert Gardaí until four days later.

He subsequently claimed that €26,000 was missing from the property and that Tina must have had help in disappearing.

Two suitcases and clothing were also missing from the property.

He said that wife Tina and her best friend would meet around Fermoy town. Mr Satchwell assumed that she was with a friend or family and "needed space". He told Neil that he "questions the way he handled waiting four days to report her missing."

He said he never contacted her friend in the four days after Tina disappeared as his wife didn't keep her friend's number on her phone.

"I know the woman and I spoke to her many a time, even before now. I spoke to her a lot over the years. I don't know how it worked between them, I just know they were very close," he said.

"I suppose people have their own reasons for the way of getting in touch with each other. They both used to go to Fermoy swimming pool. Tina stopped going to the swimming pool when the events of 2012 happened. They still met very regularly, they meet around the town to have a talk."

Mr Satchwell also confirmed that Tina had struck him in the past.

"Tina is a great woman - I have not got a bad word to say about her."

"She could have a flash temper - she could just hit you and then she'd be crying and apologising. That is all it was. There was no intent."

Mr Satchwell insisted he never struck his wife. "Never - the most I have ever the worst times, it hold her in my arms tightly until she calmed down. She is my life."

"The guards know everything about our life - including the stuff I will not talk about (publicly). They have it all."


He said that he is in regular contact with his wife's relatives and said that they have supported him throughout the time that Tina has been gone.

However, he has not had the same support from his own family in England.

Mr Satchwell told Cry104 FM that he spoke to his father just before Christmas for the first time in a long time. He said his family didn't attend their wedding and claims that they never accepted his marriage to Tina.

"There was upset [with] my choice of going out with Tina. They're pretty much anti-Irish," he said.

"I've got a big family of my own in the UK. In the past 29 years I've said about 200 words [to them]. I made my choice to come here."

This morning, he told the Neil Prenderville Show that his family gave him an ultimatum when he married Tina but he chose his wife.

He said he tried to build bridges with his family in England after his mother died. He said that he never spoke to her and didn't know that she had passed away until six months after her death.

Mr Satchwell said he believes his mother "missed out in knowing a remarkable woman" in Tina. He said his grandmother in England "loved Tina to bits" and they would speak often.

He said his family "had their reasons" for not liking the Irish and said "I was brought up in school all we heard about from the Irish was IRA. People are prejudiced".

The couple got engaged two years after meeting in England and married in 1991 on Tina's 20th birthday.

They lived for a time in Fermoy, Tina's hometown, before relocating in 2016 to Youghal.

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