Protective father jailed over money dispute for shooting husband of terminally ill daughter

A 75-year-old grandfather fired a volley of gunshots at his daughter’s husband to “spook him” over a nasty family money dispute.

William Murrell stood before Sydney’s Downing Center District Court via video link on Friday over the horrific 2020 daylight attack outside his son-in-law’s home in Wahroonga.

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The court was told Murrell was “angry” after learning his daughter’s husband, Mirko Uskovic, had filed for divorce when she was diagnosed with motor neuron disease.

Murrell carried two guns and was dressed in hi-vis protection, a mask and goggles, and fired multiple shots at Uskovic.

At the time, Murrell’s daughter had received a $1.8 million life insurance payout.

William Murrell has been jailed for shooting his daughter’s husband over a money dispute. Recognition: 7NEWS
Police at the scene of the Wahroonga shooting in 2020. Recognition: 7NEWS

“He was adamant with my daughter, he wanted to get more money out of her,” Murrell told police.

“I wanted to scare the hell out of him.”

The court was told Murrell said Uskovic withdrew money from his daughter’s account, taking $10,000 to $20,000 at a time.

“$100,000 total — that made me angry,” he said.

Murrell shot his son-in-law after he filed for a divorce from his terminally ill daughter. Recognition: 7NEWS

Judge Antony Townsend said Murrell pointed his rifle at Uskovic and started firing, hitting the right side of his neck as Uskovic screamed for help.

Murrell fired up to six bullets in Uskovic’s direction before the victim found a metal pole to hit Murrell in self-defense.

Townsend described the attack as “planned” and “not spontaneous”.

“Murrell felt anxious and stressed about his daughter’s diagnosis and divorce process,” Townsend told the court.

However, he argued that “hardship for family members is not a mitigating factor in punishment, except in exceptional circumstances.

Murrell has been behind bars since his 2020 arrest and pleaded guilty to disposing of a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of an unauthorized firearm.

Townsend sentenced the grandfather to seven years and six months in prison, acknowledging that his time without parole would exceed his daughter’s life expectancy given the “severity of his conduct”.

He is eligible for parole in 2025.

– With reports by Isabelle Mullen

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James Brien

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