Killer of pensioner Eddie Girvan jailed for three years

Margaret Henderson-McCarroll
Margaret Henderson-McCarroll

A mother-of-two was jailed today for three years for what a senior judge described as the “horrific” killing of pensioner Eddie Girvan in Co Antrim last year.

Margaret Henderson-McCarroll (31), formerly of Verner Street, Belfast, had previously pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Girvan at his Greenisland home on January 18, 2016.

Eddie Girvan

Eddie Girvan

Passing sentence today at Belfast Crown Court, Mr Justice Treacy said the defendant would serve a further three years on licence as part of the determinent custodial sentence.

He said that he agreed with two consultant forensic psychologists that Henderson-McCarroll did not meet the dangerous provisions and that she did not pose a “significant risk of serious harm to the public in the future”.

The judge told the court: “This was an horrific crime and the deceased must have suffered terribly.”

The prosecution accepted her guilty plea to the manslaughter of the 67-year-old former plumber on the grounds of “diminished responsibilty”.

Her defence had argued that at the time of the killing Henderson-McCarroll was high on a cocktail of heroin and crystal drugs.

A defence QC had told a plea and sentence hearing in June this year that at the time of the manslaughter her life had descended into a “heroin hell” following the cot death of her infant daughter.

More to follow.