Man guilty of killing Irish man and wife

Fri, Nov 16, 2012, 00:00

An elderly man who shot his daughter and Irish son-in-law in their home near Johannesburg last August has been found guilty on two counts of murder, a local news agency has reported.

German citizen Erwin Poppinger (76) had admitted to shooting Dublin-born Kevin McGuirk (54) and his wife, Kim (34), last year but pleaded not guilty to murder.

Instead, he said he had shot both victims in self-defence.

Mr McGuirk, a diving school owner living in South Africa for more than 10 years, and his wife were found dead in the bedroom of their home on August 15th, 2011, by police called to the scene by Poppinger the morning after the shooting took place.

The elderly man said the incident occurred because they had been arguing over unpaid bills.

Forensic evidence showed the Irishman was shot twice while in his bed before Poppinger turned his gun on his daughter.

Last year Det Sathieseelan Pilay told a court hearing that he found their bodies on the floor, indicating that the pensioner had tried to make it look like the pair had attacked him.

The case was postponed to next Thursday, when the defence will be allowed to build its case before sentencing.