1. ITV Report

Prosecutors will not appeal sentence for pensioner killing

The body of Eddie Girvan was found at his Greenisland home in January 2016. Credit: Presseye

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has said it will not be appealing the sentence handed down to a woman who killed a Co Antrim pensioner.

It said no legal grounds have been identified for challenging the six-year term - three of which are to be spent in jail - imposed on Margaret Henderson-McCarroll for the manslaughter of Eddie Girvan.

The 67-year-old body’s was found at his Greenisland home in January 2016.

The retired plumber, had been stabbed twice in the chest.

Margaret Henderson-McCarroll, 31, who had been living in a hostel at Verner Street in Belfast, pleaded guilty to his manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The mother-of-two claimed she acted in self-defence, poking the pensioner with a cake knife during a row over money for sex.

The six-year term handed down at Belfast Crown Court in August was based on sentencing guidelines and an examination of the circumstances.

It provoked shock among some politicians who called on the Public Prosecution Service to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.

At the time, the authority announced it was reviewing the sentence but following legal scrutiny a decision has been reached not to pursue the matter.

A PPS spokesperson said: "The sentence handed down to Margaret Henderson-McCarroll has been carefully considered and no legal basis has been found to refer it as an unduly lenient sentence to the Court of Appeal.