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Murdered dad asked for barring order in SA

DUBLIN dad Kevin McGuirk had sought a restraining order against his suspected killer in South Africa just days before he was shot dead.

Court papers have revealed that Mr McGuirk's wife Kim requested an interim protection against her father Erwin Poppinger (75) on August 11.

Five days later, Kim (34) and Kevin (53) were discovered dead in their house in Alberton, a suburb of Johannesburg,

It is believed that they were shot at point blank range with a 9mm handgun as they were preparing for bed.

Poppinger, who was living with them, has been charged with their murder and it emerged yesterday that he had threatened to kill them in June following a row over money.

In a statement filed to the Alberton Magistrates Court, Ms McGuirk said that the pensioner had acted threateningly towards her and her husband on several occasions.

"Mr Poppinger will scream and shout indiscriminately at us and he intimidates us. We are frightened of what he might do and now sleep with our bedroom door locked," she wrote.

It is understood that their relationship with the retired mechanic was so fraught that they were looking to move out.

While the application for a restraining order had been submitted, it had yet to be considered by the time of the killing.

Poppinger appeared in court in Alberton for the second time yesterday but a bail hearing was postponed until tomorrow.

His lawyer Neels Kotze said he believed that the family row had been over household electricity bills and that his client had acted in self-defence.

"It is clear there was a long-running disagreement between my client, his daughter and her husband," he said.

"There had been an application for a protection order, and relations were bad.

"Last week there was a big row about an electricity bill and then the shooting occurred."

Mr Kotze denied reports that his client had admitted to the murders.

Father-of-five Mr McGuirk was originally from Balgriffin, and moved to South Africa over a decade ago and worked as a tour guide and scuba diving instructor.

He and Kim ran Africa Diving Tours together.

hnews@herald.ie


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