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Mother-of-two due to stand trial for murder of stabbed pensioner

By Allan Preston

Published 13/08/2016

Margaret Henderson-McCarroll
Margaret Henderson-McCarroll
Eddie Girvan

A woman accused of murdering a pensioner also stole his watch, ring and camera, a court heard yesterday.

Margaret Henderson-McCarroll (30) was told she would stand trial for the murder of Eddie Girvan, who was found stabbed and bound and gagged in his Co Antrim home last year.

Her lawyer told the court she will be claiming she acted in self-defence.

The accused also faces allegations of stealing jewellery and car keys from the 67-year-old earlier this year.

Mr Girvan's body was discovered tied up and seated at his home on Station Road in Greenisland on January 18.

It was revealed at a previous hearing that his shorts were around his ankles and he had stab wounds to his chest.

Officers were said to have arrived at the address, where he collected antiques and jewellery, to investigate a suspected burglary linked to a hit-and-run road collision in Belfast.

A Hyundai car belonging to the victim was believed to have been involved in the accident at Donegall Quay in the city.

Henderson-McCarroll, a mother-of-two who was living in hostel accommodation at the time, was first detained on an unrelated issue, but after being taken into custody, she was subsequently charged with the murder of the pensioner.

During today's preliminary inquiry hearing at Belfast Magistrates' Court, the accused stood expressionless as the allegations were put to her.

She is also charged with stealing a satellite navigation system, binoculars, a watch, digital camera, silver ring and bunch of keys belonging to Mr Girvan.

Further charges involve the attempted theft of £20 in cash from the victim, aggravated vehicle taking causing damage, and dangerous driving.

Henderson-McCarroll confirmed she understood the five charges against her.

Asked if she wanted to say anything in response to the charges, give evidence or call witnesses at this stage, the defendant replied, "No".

Defence solicitor Damien Trainor did not challenge prosecution submissions that a prima facie case had been established against his client.

However, he told the court: "The accused will be raising issues of self-defence."

District Judge Austin Kennedy granted a prosecution application to have Henderson-McCarroll returned for trial at Belfast Crown Court on a date that is yet to be fixed.

No application for bail was made, and the accused remains in custody.

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