Family reaction to road rage killer’s 12-year sentence

THE family of a dad of three who died following a road rage attack welcomed the 12-year sentence given to his killer – but say it will never ease their pain.

Construction worker Raymond Bates, 49, from Peterlee, died in hospital four days after being beaten around the head with a sports stick by Irish man Karl Donohoe in Dublin on September 26, 2010.

As he lay in a coma in hospital, Donohoe told investigators he hoped the victim died adding he got what he deserved.

Today, Mr Bates’ family told the Hartlepool Mail they were happy with the jail term handed out to 30-year-old Donohoe, but said it would never take away the pain of losing Mr Bates.

Outside the court, Mr Bates’ grief-stricken wife Brenda and her sons, Paul, Mark and Carl welcomed the sentence.

Mrs Bates said: “It will never be enough, but we’re happy.”

Paul, 29, paid tribute to his father as “a great dad”, a friend and hard worker for his family.

In a family statement, Mrs Bates’ sister, Vivienne Sanderson, said the family had been scarred by the images of Mr Bates being brought home in a coffin.

She said: “Karl Donohoe has not only destroyed our family, but he has also destroyed his own.

“As a family we hope he will be as big and proud now as he was when he told the Gardai that their dad deserved to die.

“The sentence he’s been given will never be enough to ease the pain or make up for the loss that we are suffering, or that his own child is now going to suffer.

“With him to proceed to beat our dad up makes us think he had no understanding of how a real family man should be.”

Mr Bates’ sister, Karen Bates, 41, added: “It has been a long wait to see justice done.

“No matter what sentence he got it was never going to make it any easier for our family but we are happy that it is double figures.

“Now we will try and get on with our lives as best we can.”

Donohoe was jailed at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin after he admitted manslaughter.

Mr Bates was working in Ireland as a quality control inspector on a gas pipeline.

The court previously heard that Mr Bates, nicknamed Ginger, drank 10 pints of Guinness in a pub before driving his Mitsubishi Pajero and tailgating and flashing his lights at Donohoe, who was travelling with his 18-month-old daughter.

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, a piece of equipment used in the Irish sport of hurling, and hit the Mitsubishi Pajero as it blocked his path.

He then hit Mr Bates several times when he got out of the car, including a fatal blow to the left temple as he lay on the ground.

Mrs Bates, 49, who works as a childminder, had just arrived back at the couple’s home in Dinting Close, Peterlee, after a girls’ holiday in Benidorm when she got a call to say her husband was in hospital.

He was in a coma when she arrived with her three sons.

Mr Bates, who also has one grandchild, died two days later.

He leaves behind sons Paul, 29, Mark, 27 and Karl, 24, and Paul’s two-year-old son, Leon.

He also has three sisters, Denise Brunwell, 49, Karen Bates, 41, Julie Taylor, 47, and a brother, Gary, 51.