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Victim's brother also slain by knife

Steven Penrose was convicted of manslaughter after a seven day trial in May.

The court heard how he had a "very serious" substance abuse problem and was trying to steal heroin from David Sharkey (28) when they came to blows.

Penrose (27) is the son of a serving garda, who works as a driver in Transport Details at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park.

During the trial his father Paul gave evidence that his son rang him asking for a lift on the night of the killing.

Penrose had denied murdering Mr Sharkey in Navan in May of last year. He admitted to manslaughter but this plea was rejected by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Penrose admitted to gardai that after the killing, he used Sharkey's phone to text the dead man's partner, Joleen Smyth.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Sharkey's mother, Ann Sharkey mentioned that it was not the first time tragedy had struck her family.

"Our son, Simon, was also killed unlawfully in a knife attack," she said.

"My husband and I feel we're living a life sentence ourselves," she added. "We'll never get over the loss."

Det Insp Fox confirmed that Mr Sharkey was not a big drug dealer, "definitely not a drug lord or drug baron".

Patrick Marrinan, defending, told the judge that Penrose had led a normal life until his girlfriend gave birth to a still-born child.

"He started taking drugs, then heroin, and descended into a very dark world," he said.