Belfast Telegraph

Mum-of-two injected heroin after stabbing pensioner in chest and tying him up, court told

Murder accused claims she attacked OAP in self-defence after he brandished sword

By Alan Erwin

A mother-of-two injected herself with heroin after she allegedly stabbed, bound and gagged a pensioner in his home, the High Court heard.

Margaret Henderson (30), claimed she inflicted the fatal wounds on Eddie Girvan in self-defence after he brandished a sword during a row at the house in Greenisland, Co Antrim.

Details emerged as she was refused bail on a charge of murdering the 67-year-old on January 18 this year.

Prosecutors said Mr Girvan's body was discovered tied up and seated inside his home on Station Road, where he collected antiques and jewellery.

He had stab wounds to his chest and his shorts were round his ankles.

Officers had gone to the address to investigate a suspected burglary linked to a hit-and-run road collision at Donegall Quay in Belfast. A Hyundai car belonging to the victim is believed to have been involved in the accident.

Henderson, a mother-of-two who was staying in a hostel on Verner Street in the city, had been arrested at that time on a separate bench warrant.

While she was being taken into custody, police found keys for the Hyundai and a satellite navigation system registered to Mr Girvan's address, the court was told.

The vehicle was later recovered outside the hostel.

During police interviews, Henderson allegedly admitted stabbing the pensioner, taking his car and a gold chain that she coerced others into pawning for her at a shop in Belfast.

Prosecution counsel said Henderson claimed to have been with Mr Girvan when an argument led to him producing a sword and pointing it at her.

"She said she stabbed him with a knife used to cut cakes and then tied his hands and gagged him with kitchen roll to stop him shouting," a barrister told the court.

"She then stated that she injected herself with heroin at his house, stole his car and keys, drove his vehicle, which was involved in a collision on Donegall Quay, and drove off back to her address, where she was later arrested."

As part of opposition to bail, it was claimed that Henderson's drug addiction may lead to further offences.

A defence lawyer confirmed his client denied the murder charge. "Based on the facts outlined, this was certainly not a frenzied attack," he said.

"Ms Henderson describes being in fear, she describes being scared and she explains that her actions were in self-defence."

The court was told that the accused's continued addiction was linked to a family tragedy, but that she has been drug-free and has achieved stability in her life since going into custody.

Denying bail, Mrs Justice Keegan cited the risks of re-offending and potential interference with the course of justice.

Belfast Telegraph


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