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Sunday 16 December 2018

Richard Satchwell 'outraged' after off-duty gardaí allegedly held sign at darts match saying 'Tina come home'

Richard Satchwell pictured at his home holding a photo of wife Tina
Richard Satchwell pictured at his home holding a photo of wife Tina

Ralph Riegel

The husband of a woman missing for 10 months has expressed outrage at reports two off-duty gardaí held up a hand-written sign at a darts match appealing for her to return home.

Garda authorities are now investigating the incident which involved two male officers and came to light via social media last weekend.

Tina Satchwell (45) vanished from her home in Youghal, Co Cork on March 20 last.

Her husband, Richard, is adamant that she left home to deal with personal issues - and that she must have had assistance in her disappearance.

Tina did not have a passport and a painstaking trawl of CCTV footage from both Irish and UK ports and airports has yielded no clue as to her whereabouts or movements.

Mr Satchwell said he "felt sick" when he learned about the apparent social media posting.

Tina Satchwell has been missing from her home in Youghal since March.
Tina Satchwell has been missing from her home in Youghal since March.

"Late on Saturday evening I got a phone call from An Garda Síochana advising me that there was a photo of some kind gone viral on social media involving two Gardaí and a sign saying 'Tina Come Home'. They have apologised for it and advised me that the two people involved will be dealt with internally," he said.

Mr Satchwell said the incident was very upsetting and he found it insulting to both himself and his wife.

"I felt sick - that two professional people should find it funny to make a joke out of the predicament I find myself in," he told TV3.

"I think one of the things that is hard for people is to say sorry.

"I would like something to be said to them by An Garda Síochana but I would like a written apology from the two of them."

It is understood the internal investigation will determine whether the matter is referred to the Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

Neither of the two serving gardaí are involved in the investigation into the disappearance of Tina from her Cork home last March.

The photograph of the duo holding up the hand-written appeal was posted via social media.

It carried the message: "Come home Tina."

The circumstances of the incident remain unclear - and it is understood Garda chiefs want to determine whether the image may have been digitally altered.

Photographs of the sign indicated that it was either written on or pasted to a UniBet poster.

Both gardaí are based in Cork.

Tina was reported missing by her husband after he had initially suspected she had gone to stay with family members in the Fermoy area.

Mr Satchwell also said he believes someone helped his wife with her disappearance - and claimed €26,000 is missing from the family home.

However, he is adamant he does not believe his wife is dead.

The couple were 26 years married last November.

He has again appealed to her to return home - and insisted he will welcome her with "open arms."

"She is my daylight - she has been my life since meeting her, even before I spoke to her."

"To be honest with you, my life altered (since she vanished)."

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

Mr Satchwell has insisted he had nothing to do with his wife's disappearance - and said he believes she left Youghal to deal with personal issues.

"My wife is going to turn back up or she is going to get in touch with the gardaí. One way or another this will all come out and, in time, it will (be shown) that I have done nothing."

"I have been with my wife for 28 years - (I have tried to provide) a good quiet, loving marriage and nothing else."

"I have never once in nearly 30 years of being together laid a finger on her - the most I have ever done to her is have a tight cuddle, loving the bones off her."

Gardaí stressed that they are now "very concerned" for Tina after repeated appeals for information on her whereabouts over the previous 10 months yielded nothing.

Tina was last seen at her home on March 20 and while two suitcases were missing from her home, travel documents and other financial material were still in the house.

Tina's mobile phone has not been used.

The couple have been together for 28 years and lived in Fermoy, Tina's hometown, for 18 years before they relocated to Youghal in May 2016.

Tina was well-known for her love of fashion and glamorous clothing.

"She loves posing. She loves her fashion. She loves going around second-hand shops looking for the one individual item so that nobody can go down to Penneys or Dunnes and have the same thing."

Gardaí have appealed for anyone who may have information on Tina to contact Midleton Garda Station on (021) 4621550 or the Garda confidential line (1800) 666111.

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