Man jailed over Dundalk killing
A Louth man who killed a teenager in Dundalk over two years ago after he attacked, punched and kicked the 18-year-old “like a rag doll” bouncing his head off a road several times following an unprovoked altercation has been sentenced to 16 years with the final three suspended.
Unemployed father-of-three Douglas Ward (36), with an address at Loughantarve, Knockbridge, Co Louth had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Niall Dorr, on October 13th, 2010, at the Central Criminal Court on the morning of his trial on October 30th last.
Mr Justice Paul Carney said that alcohol does not afford a defence and that an aggravating feature was that Ward had killed Mr Dorr after he attended a bail hearing in Dundalk.
The court had heard that a number of 999 calls were made at about 9pm stating a young man was lying unconscious on the footpath in Castle Road, Dundalk, partially dressed and underneath a parked car.
The teenager was identified as Niall Dorr and was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where his condition deteriorated rapidly. He was transferred to Beamount Hospital where it was discovered he had irrecoverable brain damage and surgical intervention was not possible.
The court heard Ward, who had been drinking all day after his court hearing, was with four males and two females who were trying to gain access to a house party at Castle Road when Mr Dorr and his two friends were walking by making their way home.
Det Pat Marry told prosecution counsel Mr Brendan Grehan, SC, an incident at a fair ground the previous night, which Mr Dorr and Ward were not involved in, may have sparked the row between the groups. “It was a chance encounter between the groups,” said Det Marry.
“During the fracas, Mr Dorr became isolated with Mr Ward and he was assaulted in a very violent fashion.
“Mr Dorr was trying to keep the peace,” he added.
A witness told gardaí she saw Ward “bouncing” Mr Dorr’s head off the road up to 10 times and kicking him in the head a number of times. She said Mr Dorr was “like a rag doll and was totally unresponsive".
Another witness gave a graphic account to gardaí saying it was a “continuous beating with vicious kicking and punching.”
A third witness said he saw a “fella on the ground who looked like he was lifeless and a man kicking and stomping on his head.” He said Ward was “banging” Mr Dorr’s head off the wheel of a parked car. Ward constantly denied to gardaí he was at the scene, despite his DNA being found on a cigarette found at the scene and on Mr Dorr’s t-shirt.