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Killer 'lost control' in botched heroin theft

A drug addict who killed a 28-year-old drug dealer in a botched robbery will be sentenced for his manslaughter later this month.

Father-of-three Steven Penrose (27), of no fixed abode but formerly of Blanchardstown, stabbed David Sharkey 13 times as he delivered heroin to him in Navan.

The Central Criminal Court heard yesterday that Mr Sharkey, also a father, was the second member of his family to be stabbed to death.

A jury found Penrose not guilty of murder following a seven-day trial in May, but guilty of manslaughter. He was before Mr Justice Paul Carney yesterday for sentencing.

Sergeant Alan Brady told Paul Greene, prosecuting, that two gardai stopped a BMW on Dunsink Lane in Finglas on the night of May 17, 2009.

The driver gave a fake name and drove on. He was followed by the gardai and abandoned the car.

When the gardai looked into the boot of the car, they found a dead body. A finger print on a bag of blood-stained clothes in the boot led them to Penrose.

He was arrested the following day and immediately accepted his involvement in the killing.

Penrose said he asked Mr Sharkey to bring an ounce of heroin for sale to an apartment at Parkview in Navan. He said he intended to steal the heroin, but that Mr Sharkey produced a knife and a struggle ensued and he lost control.

The trial jury was shown CCTV footage of Mr Sharkey arriving at the apartment and Penrose leaving 10 minutes later. It showed him reverse Mr Sharkey's BMW to the door and remove something heavy from the building. It was agreed that this was likely to have been Mr Sharkey's body.

Sgt Brady said that Penrose had been addicted to drugs and estranged from his family for some years.

Judge Carney will pass sentence later this month.