A BID to confiscate over £180,000 from the killer carers who murdered Margaret Fleming has been delayed due to psychiatric concerns.

Eddie Cairney is set to be examined by doctors after his lawyer said he wasn’t a 'well man' and was 'deteriorating'.

The developments emerged yesterday during a High Court hearing held in Edinburgh.

Prosecutors have brought a proceeds of crime action against Cairney and accomplice Avril Jones in a bid to recover £182,000 fraudulently claimed in benefits in respect of Margaret.

But defence advocate Mark Moir told judge Lord Burns that he was concerned for 79-year-old Cairney’s health.

His client and Ms Jones, 59, are behind bars serving life sentences for murdering Margaret, 19, of Inverkip, some time between December 1999 and January 2000.

The duo were supposed to look after the vulnerable teenager.

Jones continued to claim benefits in her name until it finally emerged that Margaret was missing in October 2016.

Police suspected the duo took Margaret’s life at their rundown Seacroft cottage.

Her body has never been found and the evil pair have refused to reveal what they did with her remains.

During yesterday's hearing Mr Moir said he was finding it very difficult to obtain instructions from Cairney.

He said: “He is not a well man at all.

"When I saw him last week he had deteriorated further to the extent that I found it extremely difficult to get anything resembling legal instructions.

“He is 79 years of age.

"He is in a wheelchair and he has multiple other health problems.”

Mr Moir said Cairney was to be psychiatrically examined.

After the pair were convicted last July Judge Lord Matthews told them they’d have to serve at least 14 years before they’d be able to apply for parole.

He told them: “Only you two know the truth.

"Only you know where her remains are.

“Margaret Fleming was a vulnerable young woman with evident difficulties.

"She was in your care and you breached the trust placed in you.”

Jones’ advocate John McElroy said that he had told the Crown that he had wanted to settle the case.

However, Mr McElroy said he had been told the case couldn’t be resolved on a stand alone basis.

In the light of the new information disclosed about Cairney’s condition, Lord Burns decided to discharge the December 2020 hearing which had been previously scheduled.

The case is now expected to call again in February next year.

Earlier this year an independent inquiry into how Margaret was allowed to fall through the cracks of the social care system was suspended.

Inverclyde Council bosses decided to postpone work on the significant case review headed by Professor Jean MacLellan OBE as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

It's hoped the probe will be concluded next year.