Irish Driver Jailed for Manslaughter of County Durham Man

An Irish motorist has been jailed for 12 years for the manslaughter of a County Durham man in a road rage attack.

Construction worker Raymond Bates died in hospital four days after he was beaten around the head with a hurley stick in a south Dublin suburb on September 26 2010. 

Karl Donohoe, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was jailed at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. His victim, a father of three from Peterlee, Co Durham, was working in Ireland as a quality control inspector on a gas pipeline at the time of the attack.

Mr Bates' widow, Brenda, shouted ``Yes'' when the sentence was read out before she burst into tears and had to be helped from the courtroom. The last two years of the jail term were suspended on condition of a 1,000 euro (£820) bond and on the basis that Donohoe stays away from the Bates family. It is believed to be the first road-rage killing in Ireland.

The court had previously heard that Donohoe looked possessed during the attack. Mr Bates 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. Witnesses said Donohoe stopped in Irishtown, where both drivers got out of their cars and had an argument on the street, with Mr Bates shouting: ``Don't be braking like a f****** fanny, just drive your f****** car.'' 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. When the cars later stopped, Donohoe took a hurley stick 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.