A woman is to stand trial charged with murdering a pensioner found stabbed, bound and gagged in his Co Antrim home, a judge ordered today.
Margaret Henderson-McCarroll, 30, also faces allegations of stealing jewellery and car keys from 67-year-old victim Eddie Girvan earlier this year.
As the accused appeared in court under her married name, a defence lawyer confirmed she will be claiming to have acted in self-defence.
Mr Girvan’s body was discovered tied up and seated at his home on Station Road, Greenisland on January 18.
At a previous hearing it was revealed that he had stab wounds to his chest, and his shorts were round his ankles.
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 is 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.
During today’s preliminary enquiry 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 gent’s watch, digital camera, silver ring and bunch of keys belonging to Mr Girvan.
Further alleged offences 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 alleged offences, give evidence or call witnesses at this stage, she replied: “No.”
Defence solicitor Damien Trainor did not challenge prosecution submissions that a prima facie case has 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 to be fixed.
With no application for bail, she was taken back into custody.