Murder of man (94) stuns Hayfields

2018-11-07 06:03
A recent photo of Jimmy McGlinchey (94), who was found dead in his home in Hayfields.

A recent photo of Jimmy McGlinchey (94), who was found dead in his home in Hayfields.

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THE discovery of the body of a 94-year-old man who had been strangled to death in his home has rocked the community of Hayfields.

The body of Jimmy McGlinchey, a Scottish national who moved to South Africa some 40 years ago, was found naked and bruised at the home he lived in alone after losing his wife in June.

Police said McGlinchey’s body was found by his domestic worker, who alerted neighbours who then called the authorities. He was declared dead on scene, his body found with strangulation marks on his throat and scars and bruises on his arms. Police said intruders gained access through the kitchen door, which was forced open. McGlinchey’s VW Polo was stolen in the incident, as well as two Persian rugs.

His son-in-law, Dino Santoro, told The Witness that neighbours had contacted his wife Alison — McGlinchey’s daughter — to tell them about what happened. “It’s hard to process,” a visibly traumatised Santoro said. “He lived here for about 30 years and all he ever lost was a hosepipe. I am trying to fit new locks in the house, and my wife is not coming to the home until the scene is cleared.

“This was a senseless killing of an absolutely good gentleman.”

Santoro said McGlinchey had originally moved from Scotland to Zambia, where he owned a trucking business. He came to South Africa in the 1970s.

The incident has rocked the community, with some saying it is the most brutal incident they know of that has taken place in the area.

“It is certainly a shocking incident, and one that was unexpected,” said Greg Bowden, the chairperson of the Hayfields Neighbourhood Watch.

“Since the neighbourhood watch has become more organised, we’ve seen a substantial drop in crime.

“We get petty crimes, but not serious ones like this.”

Piet Visser, who lives near McGlinchey, said: “We do see break-ins, but nothing like this.

“We’ve got a very active community WhatsApp chat, and we are generally able to pounce on things.”

Visser said, however, that he has noticed people loitering in the area lately.

McGlinchey is survived by his daughter, and two sons, Mark and Stewart McGlinchey, who both live in Australia. He had seven grandchildren.

Police spokesperson captain Kholeka Mhlongo confirmed a case of house robbery and murder was being investigated.

The Association for the Aged advised that elderly people living alone should establish a regular routine of contact with people around them. “This could be a phone call in the morning. Elders should also be encouraged to be extra vigilant when letting people onto their property,” said the CEO, Femada Shamam. She also advised using modern solutions like cellphone apps that can contact alarm companies.

This incident is the fourth high-profile murder of an elderly person in Pietermaritzburg this year, after three elderly people were murdered at local old age homes. Kershwin Goldstone (22) was this year sentenced to three life terms in prison for the murders of Patricia Moreen Ann O’Connor (92), Roland Heathcote (89), and Patricia Elizabeth Tugwell (89), after he gained entry into their rooms at old age homes and robbed and murdered them.


“He lived here for about 30 years and all he ever lost was a hosepipe.”


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