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Woman accused of OAP's knife murder to face trial

By Ashleigh McDonald

Published 01/10/2016

Denies murder: Margaret Henderson-McCarroll
Denies murder: Margaret Henderson-McCarroll

A 30-year-old woman is to stand trial for the murder of a Co Antrim pensioner who was bound, gagged and stabbed to death in his house.

Margaret Henderson-McCarroll appeared at Belfast Crown Court yesterday where she denied killing Greenisland man Eddie Girvan, a 67-year-old who was murdered in his Station Road home on January 18.

Henderson-McCarroll, whose address was given as Hydebank, denied 10 charges arising from the pensioner's death, including stealing the victim's car.

A defence barrister lodged an application for compassionate bail to allow Henderson-McCarroll to attend Roselawn Cemetery on a date significant to her.

However, the application was refused by Mr Justice Treacy, who said that while the court was sympathetic, he was "not prepared to take a risk" and grant the request due to the seriousness of the charges that the defendant faces.

Prior to the application, prosecutor Charles McCreanor QC outlined the Crown case against Henderson-McCarroll, telling the court the accused had admitted being in the victim's company and had "made admissions to leaving him bound and gagged".

Mr McCreanor also said nine other offences levelled against Henderson-McCarroll, including attempting to steal money from Mr Girvan the day before he was killed as well as taking his car after his death and crashing it in Belfast city centre, were part and parcel of the same incident.

The prosecutor told the court that the defendant had admitted being in Mr Girvan's company "over the space of the weekend". He also revealed it was the prosecution's case that an argument about money led to the death of Mr Girvan.

Mr McCreanor said it was the Crown's case that Henderson-McCarroll stabbed Mr Girvan, left him bound and gagged and then left the scene at around 7.15am.

The lawyer added it was the Crown's case that all 10 charges were "part and parcel of potentially what led to the argument and then the death of Mr Girvan and how the defendant reacted in respect of that".

Henderson-McCarroll was charged with and denied all 10 charges. As all the allegations were read to her, she replied "not guilty" to each one.

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