AN Irish motorist was jailed for 12 years today for the manslaughter of a dad-of-three in a road rage attack.
Construction worker Raymond Bates, from Peterlee, died in hospital four days after being beaten around the head with a sports 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, for the attack on his victim, who was working in Ireland as a quality control inspector on a gas pipeline.
The court heard that the last two years of the jail term were suspended on condition of a £820 bond and on the basis that Donohoe stays away from the Bates family.
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 court had previously heard that Mr Bates had 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.
Witnesses said Donohoe stopped in Irishtown, where both drivers got out of their cars and had an argument in the street.
Shortly after 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, 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.
The case is believed to be the first road-rage killing in Ireland.