PRISON chiefs were paying a killer prostitute five times the going inmate work rate to act as a behind bars coronavirus cleaner.
When quizzed by Sunday Life, embarrassed officials at Hydebank women's jail sacked Maggie 'Headbutt' Henderson from the £100 per week job.
One source said: "The bosses performed a U-turn as soon as they found out the media was asking questions. Henderson shouldn't have got the job in the first place, it should have went to specialist contractors who knew what they were doing."
Henderson was returned to prison last year for breaching the terms of her early release licence when she was caught shoplifting.
The 34-year-old sex worker was initially caged for three years, with a further three to be spent on probation, for the horrific 2016 manslaughter of client Eddie Girvan (67), who she bound, gagged, stabbed to death and then robbed.
Until this newspaper asked questions of the Department of Justice (DoJ), Henderson had been getting £100 per week to work as a Covid-19 cleaner in Hydebank.
The enhanced salary - most inmates get just £20 per week for doing a variety of jobs - was because of the dangers involved.
It ruffled feathers among other prisoners and staff, with Hydebank bosses axing the position as soon as Sunday Life made inquiries.
The DoJ refused to respond to our questions on the matter, however, jail sources were much more talkative, describing it as a "mistake" to appoint Henderson.
"It was a bad mistake on the bosses' part. The other women prisoners were furious when they found out she was getting paid five times as much as everyone else," added our source. "Surely specialist outside contractors should have been brought into Hydebank to do the coronavirus cleaning?"
Henderson was high on crystal-meth and heroin when she killed Eddie Girvan after a sex session at his home in the town of Greenisland, Co Antrim.
She was caught after crashing his stolen car later that night in Belfast.
Concerned for the pensioner's safety, police visited his house and found him tied to a chair with knife wounds.
He had suffered two fatal stab injuries to the chest, and his mouth was stuffed with kitchen roll and bound with a neck-tie.
During interview, Henderson admitted to a "sex for money" relationship with Mr Girvan, who she had known for years.
It was later revealed in court that she has more than 100 criminal convictions, many of which were for headbutt assaults on men, women, children, and pensioners.
Another factor that contributed to Henderson's recent return to prison was her close relationship while on probation with fellow killer Tony Fahy (left).
Because the 31-year-old from Derry was nearing an end to his life sentence for the 2005 murder of blues musician Jim Gilchrist, he was enjoying periods of temporary release. Prison chiefs were fearful the pair were in a relationship - a concern that also played a role in Fahy being sent back to jail.