Belfast Telegraph

Family welcomes road rage sentence

The grief-stricken widow of a man killed in a road rage attack said the sentence handed down to his attacker will never be enough.

British construction worker Raymond Bates died in hospital four days after being beaten around the head with a hurley stick in a south Dublin suburb in September 2010.

Karl Donohoe, 31, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was jailed for 12 years - with the last two suspended - at Ireland's Central Criminal Court. The judge said Donohoe had appointed himself sheriff and enforcer when he savagely beat the father-of-three from Peterlee in Co Durham, who had been drink-driving.

His widow, Brenda, shouted "Yes" when the sentence was read out before she burst into tears and had to be helped from the courtroom. Outside the court she added: "It will never be enough but we're happy."

Her son Paul paid tribute to his father. "He was a great dad, he was a friend and he was a hard worker most of all - he worked away to support his family," he said.

Mr Bates, 49, had drunk up to 10 pints of Guinness in a pub before driving his Mitsubishi Pajero and tailgating and flashing Donohoe, who was travelling with his 18-month-old daughter.

Donohoe stopped at a junction in Irishtown, where both drivers got out of their cars and had an argument on the street, with Mr Bates shouting and swearing.

Both men drove off and Mr Bates overtook Donohoe's Toyota Rav 4 and mounted a central island before cutting in on the Dublin man, who later claimed he feared he was going to be rammed off the road.

When the cars stopped, Donohoe took a hurley stick and hit the Pajero that had blocked his path, and then struck Mr Bates several times when he got out of the car, including a fatal blow to his dead as he lay defenceless on the ground. Witnesses said Donohoe looked possessed during the attack, at the junction of Sandymount Road and Tritonville Road on September 26 2010.

When Mr Bates, a haemophiliac, was rushed to hospital the next day and fell into a coma, Donohoe told investigators he hoped the victim "f****** dies", as he got what he deserved.

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