A 44-year-old man who stabbed a fisherman 40 times following a row over drugs has been jailed for ten years.

Darren Houlden, with an address at The Crescent, Meadowvale, Arklow, Co Wicklow, admitted killing Stephen 'Apples' Kavanagh at the same location in the early hours of May, 2019.

He then drove to Arklow Garda station wearing bloodstained clothes, walked in and handed a "bloodied knife" to the member-in-charge at the hatch of the public office.

Houlden told him: "It's my fault. I attacked him. It's all on me."

He was tried and found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart commiserated with the family on their loss, but Mr Kavanagh’s sister Kim stood up in court today with a framed picture of her brother and said the family would appeal the sentence.

Houlden was sentenced to 11 years in prison with the final year suspended

The murder trial heard that Houlden was interviewed by gardaí and told them Kavanagh was angry when he discovered that his cocaine was missing.

He said Kavanagh had made a phone call to someone saying: "There is trouble down here, your stuff has been taken, get bodies down here."

He also said he begged Mr Kavanagh not to make a second phone call after the 37-year-old had threatened him that "gangsters" would bring him to "the woods" and shoot him over the missing cocaine.

Kavanagh's partner Rachel Kearney testified during the trial that she and Kavanagh had gone to Houlden’s house on 4 May, 2019 and spent the night pipe-smoking crack cocaine in Houlden’s bedroom.

She said they were getting ready to leave in the early hours of the following morning when Kavanangh noticed his crack cocaine was missing.

She said he had hidden it behind the door in Houlden’s room and an argument broke out between them with Houlden saying he did not take the drugs.

Ms Kearney said that when she later went to the top of the stairs she saw the accused stabbing her boyfriend who she said was face down on the floor.

Houlden had his two knees on his back as he stabbed him, she said: "He was slaughtering him, over-killing him."

She also said she thought she would be killed and rang 999.