Belfast Telegraph

Killer driver 'looked possessed'

A motorist looked like he was "possessed" when he killed a British drink-driver in a road rage attack, a court has heard.

Karl Donohoe beat up construction worker Raymond Bates in Dublin minutes after they argued at a junction in September 2010.

The victim, a father-of-three from Peterlee, Co Durham, died in hospital four days after being beaten around the head with a hurley stick in a south Dublin suburb.

Donohoe, 31, previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin where he will be sentenced next Monday.

Mr Bates's widow Brenda wept in court as it emerged her husband had drunk up to 10 pints of Guinness in a pub before getting behind the wheel of his Mitsubishi Pajero and tailgating and flashing Donohoe, who was travelling with his 18-month-old daughter.

Witnesses said Donohoe stopped in Irishtown, where both drivers got out of their cars and had an argument on the street.

Shortly afterwards 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.

The court was told Donohoe took a hurley stick from the boot of his car and hit the Mitsubishi Pajero as it blocked his path, and then hit Mr Bates several times when he got out of the car, including a fatal blow to the left temple as he lay defenceless on the ground. He died in hospital when his life support machine was turned off on September 30, 2010.

The victim, a haemophiliac, was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital the next day when he became unwell and was transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he fell into a coma. He had suffered a fractured skull and haemorrhaging and died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Mrs Bates sobbed uncontrollably and her family shook their heads as Brendan Grehan, senior counsel for Donohoe, apologised a second time on behalf of his client for the attack, which he maintained was out of character. "I can honestly say my life changed for the worse. I do realise I have to take responsibility for my actions," he read for his client.

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