Family in desperate plea after fugitive 'flees to Wales' (2024)

In-laws of a wanted woman have said they are "extremely worried" about loved ones who are believed to be with her. Nicola Flint is thought to have fled to Wales with her husband Andrew Flint and their children after she became suspected of defrauding a New Zealand rugby club of more than £48,020 (100,000 New Zealand dollars).

Earlier this month a warrant was issued for the arrest of Mrs Flint, who had reportedly been in charge of the finances and trust account of Christchurch Football Club, the oldest rugby club in the South Island city. The club had complained to police in November when an audit appeared to show money missing from events such as chocolate fundraisers. The next month Flint, who is British, reportedly left New Zealand for the UK with Mr Flint — a New Zealander who coached a junior team at the Christchurch club — and their two children, aged 16 and 13.

Mr Flint's sister and mother have now spoken to WalesOnline in an appeal for him to return to New Zealand. "It's just awful," said his sister, who did not want to be named. "Andrew needs to come home. We love him and the kids. We're extremely worried about them." For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter

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Nicola Flint was due to appear at Christchurch District Court on June 7 over nine charges of fraud, theft and forgery. But the New Zealand broadcaster Newshub reported that police had told the court the Flints were thought to be in Wales. Judge David Ruth issued an arrest warrant. A spokesman for New Zealand Police told WalesOnline: "A warrant to arrest has been issued for Nicola Flint, who faces charges relating to theft and forgery offences."

Newshub reports Mrs Flint has been charged with making false documentation from Canterbury Breastcare and St George's Hospital Cancer Care Centre while "knowing it to be false and intending that it be acted upon as genuine". She is accused of using false medical letters to claim she had terminal cancer which allowed her to medically retire from her former employer, ANZ bank.

New Zealand Police detective sergeant Michael Freeman told Newshub: "The evidence so far and the enquiries we've made suggest she doesn't have cancer." He added that her alleged actions had resulted in "a wide-ranging effect on a lot of members of the community over a long period of time".

Family in desperate plea after fugitive 'flees to Wales' (1)

Mr Flint's sister and mother told us they had a close relationship with the couple and their two children in the early years of the marriage but had seen little of them in recent years. They said Mr Flint met his wife in around 2007 in Bermuda where he was working as a mental health nurse and she reportedly as an HSBC bank worker. They wed in around 2009 and, following a six-month period in London, spent about eight months living with Mr Flint's mother in Queenstown, South Island, before buying a home in Christchurch.

After the couple had their second child in 2011, Mr Flint's mother spent a month caring for the baby as Nicola Flint returned to work. "We were very close," said Mr Flint's sister. His mother added: "But we were not close to Nicola. I always felt like I was on eggshells with her. If I was there at night-time, she would go out to a friend's place."

In recent years, said his sister, their contact with Mr Flint and the children lessened as "Nicola made it quite clear she didn't want us around". Mr Flint's mother added: "She needs to come back and face what she's alleged to have done, and let her husband and kids mend. She's ruining a lot of people's lives."

Family in desperate plea after fugitive 'flees to Wales' (2)

Family in desperate plea after fugitive 'flees to Wales' (3)

Earlier this month Newshub reported Mrs Flint had paid back the money she had allegedly stolen from Christchurch Football Club, as well as the club's legal and accountancy fees. Its chairman, Craig Calder, told the broadcaster she returned the money after the club put a caveat on the proceeds from the Christchurch home that the family had recently sold. He said: "We got the costs back, which we're delighted about obviously, for our members and for our club."

Family in desperate plea after fugitive 'flees to Wales' (4)

The Flints left behind the family company, Flint Construction, when they reportedly travelled from New Zealand to the UK in around December. They were reported to have then spent time in Bridgend. When WalesOnline knocked at the door of a Brackla resident who once had a close relationship with the family, he said they had briefly visited a few months back but had moved on to a rental property in Northamptonshire. He added: "I don't want anything to do with her."

The UK has formal arrangements with New Zealand to allow extradition. A South Wales Police spokesman said there was no record of the force being contacted by New Zealand Police.

If you would like to speak to WalesOnline about this case, email us at conor.gogarty@walesonline.co.uk

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Family in desperate plea after fugitive 'flees to Wales' (2024)
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