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Father who killed daughter and Irish husband gets bail

The pensioner who admits gunning down his daughter and Irish son-in-law was yesterday released on bail and ordered to stay at the home where he killed them.

Erwin Poppinger (75) has admitted shooting Dublin-born diving instructor Kevin McGuirk (54) and his wife Kim (34) but is now free to live as he pleases until the case comes to trial in South Africa.

He returned to the house he shared with the couple in Alberton, near Johannesburg.

The retired engineer had wept in front of magistrate Isaac Mathe, who released him minutes after a prosecutor dubbed the killing a "heinous crime".

Mr Mathe said: "The age and ill health of the applicant leads the court to find this an exceptional circumstance. The court grants bail."

Mr Poppinger, who was released on R10,000 bail at Alberton Magistrates' Court, must report to a police station every Tuesday and had to surrender his German passport.

He covered his face with a tissue when he stepped out onto the pavement, then lunged aggressively towards a photographer and barked: "You can't do that."

The couple died in their bedroom after Mrs McGuirk's father walked in with his shotgun on the night of August 15.

The next morning he told police he had acted in self defence, but a protection order issued days earlier revealed that the McGuirks had been living in fear.

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