A drug dealer who stabbed a Middlesbrough football fan to death outside a bar in Amsterdam was yesterday jailed for four years.

Iwan Roy Vyent was convicted of the manslaughter of Brendan O'Connor by judges in Holland after they cleared him of murder.

Cleveland Police said Mr O'Connor's family were "bitterly disappointed" by the verdict and Dutch prosecutors launched an appeal of the conviction and sentence.

Prosecutors had demanded a 15-year prison sentence.

Vyent (42) had denied the murder of Mr O'Connor, aged 36, and the attempted murder of his friend Howard Boville, 38, claiming he had acted in self-defence.

Mr O'Connor and Mr Boville, from Stockton-onTees, Teesside, had travelled to Holland to watch Middlesbrough play a Uefa Cup match against AZ Alkmaar.

The friends had been unable to get tickets for the match, which ended in a 0-0 draw, so instead watched the game from a bar in Amsterdam.

Hours after the match Mr O'Connor was stabbed to death outside Pinockio's Bar on November 25 last year.

Prosecutors said a fight began after the two Britons approached Vyent in an alley-way to complain that he had sold them fake drugs.

It culminated in Vyent suddenly pulling a knife and stabbing the two Britons.

Mr O'Connor, a self-employed materials controller, was originally from Teesside but moved to London 16 years ago where he lived with his head teacher wife Tanya in Camden.

Mr Boville suffered serious damage to his pancreas. He only returned home in January after weeks in a Dutch hospital.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said officers from Cleveland Police had worked closely with the Dutch authorities investigating the case. "This case had nothing to do with football and the death of Brendan O'Connor has had a devastating effect upon the people that were close to him."

Vyent picked up a 25cm kitchen knife he had dropped and stabbed both men before fleeing in a taxi. He was convicted of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.

"For killing a person, and taking into account the importance of self-defence, there must be a long custodial sentence," the court added.