Killer dad, 76, escapes prison sentence

2013-03-19 09:31
Franz Poppinger. (Picture: Bongiwe Gumede, Beeld)

Franz Poppinger. (Picture: Bongiwe Gumede, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - A 76-year-old Alberton man who killed his daughter and her husband has escaped a prison sentence, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

Franz Poppinger was on Monday sentenced in the North Gauteng High Court to three years of correctional supervision, including house arrest, for his "impulsive murders".

Judge Geraldine Borchers said in her judgment that Poppinger's age and poor health, which included diabetes, asthma and cardiac issues, made it almost impossible to impose the prescribed 15 years imprisonment on him.

Poppinger shot his daughter, Kim McGuirk, 34, and her husband, Kevin, 54, on 15 August 2011 in their bed at his home in Alberton.

Borchers said she had no doubt that months and even years of tension between Poppinger, his daughter and son-in-law had not emanated only from the accused, and that on the evening of the murders, tensions had reached breaking point.

While it was true that McGuirk had earlier obtained a protection order against her father because of his outbursts, it was also a fact that he had lived in fear in his own home. He had to sometimes lock himself in his room and use milk bottles instead of the toilet.

According to Poppinger's testimony and reports submitted to the court, his daughter and son-in-law did not pay the telephone or electricity accounts, which had been a major point of contention.

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