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Sister slams verdict on knife-killer

THE SISTER of slain Rebecca Hoban has said her killer's manslaughter conviction was "disgusting".

Annette Ward slammed the verdict against knife-killer Clive Butcher, saying he should have been convicted of murdering Rebecca.

Ms Ward described Butcher's claims that her sister planned to kill him as completely untrue, saying Rebecca "didn't have a violent bone in her body".

Rebecca (28) died after Butcher stabbed her six times in the back during an argument at his bedsit in Ranelagh.

He had admitted manslaughter but the DPP refused to accept this plea and went ahead with the murder trial.

Butcher was yesterday found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at the Central Criminal Court. He showed no emotion as the majority 10-2 verdict was handed down. During the trial, the court heard Butcher had been in a relationship with Rebecca for around a year before he killed her, in December 2008.

The two, who were homeless and addicted to drugs, had met while sleeping rough in the Phoenix Park.

Rebecca had been staying with Butcher on her release from prison at the time.

Annette, who is originally from Dublin, said of the verdict: "It's disgusting that anyone can be found guilty of manslaughter after stabbing someone in the back.

"And what he said about her planning to kill him is completely untrue -- she didn't have a violent bone in her body," she added.

Butcher phoned 999 after he stabbed Rebecca during a row, asking for an ambulance and saying she was "dying rapidly on the floor".

He told the operator he was an "evil f***er" who had just stabbed a woman three or four times.

He maintained to gardai Rebecca had come towards him with a breadknife during a violent struggle that broke out during a row about drugs.

"I'm sorry it happened. I loved the girl," he told gardai.

Butcher is due to be sentenced on April 26.