Man facing jail for fatal road rage hurley attack on motorist
A MOTORIST looked like he was “possessed” when he attacked a British man in a road rage incident, a court heard yesterday. Karl Donohoe beat up construction worker Raymond Bates in Dublin minutes after they argued at a junction in September 2010.
Mr Bates (49), a father of three from Peterlee, Co Durham, died in hospital four days after being beaten around the head with a hurley. Donohoe (31) had 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 as it emerged her husband had drunk up to 10 pints of Guinness before getting behind the wheel of his four-wheel drive and tailgating and flashing Donohoe, who had his 18-month-old daughter in the car.
Witnesses said Donohoe, a crane worker from Tyrellstown, 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***ing fanny, just drive your f***ing car.”
Shortly afterwards Mr Bates overtook Donohoe’s vehicle and mounted a central island. The court was told Donohoe took a hurley from the boot of his car and hit Mr Bates’s vehicle as it blocked his path. He hit Mr Bates several times when he got out of the car, including a fatal blow to the left temple as he lay defenceless.
He died in hospital when his life-support machine was turned off on September 30th, 2010.
Ms Bates wrote in a victim impact statement that the pain of his loss was indescribable and had completely devastated the family.
“It was incredibly difficult to see Ray so lifeless, being supported by a life-support machine,” read Isobel Kennedy SC, prosecuting.
“The boys could not comprehend what had happened to their dad when they saw him in hospital – their best friend, fishing and shooting partner, drinking buddy and dad, lying motionless, completely dependent on technology to keep him alive.”
Ms Bates described the victim as a caring, loving husband who would have been the perfect grandfather to their two grandsons. “Our lives will never be the same. Ray’s death has killed the family.”
Ms Kennedy told the court that witnesses said Donohoe looked “possessed” as he hit the car and then attacked Mr Bates at the junction of Sandymount Road and Tritonville Road on September 26th, 2010.He was hitting the victim’s car “in a menacing way” for two to three minutes before Mr Bates got out with his hands raised above him. He was struck several times, falling to the ground, while Donohoe shouted and swore aggressively.
Mr Bates and Donohoe – who was on bail at the time for arson and criminal damage over a family dispute – drove away from the scene and a witness reported the assault to the Garda.
The victim was brought 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.
Det Garda Barry Walsh, Irishtown Garda station, said that when Donohoe was interviewed the day after the assault, he said: “I hope he f***ing dies, he got what he deserves.”
However, Donohoe later claimed he did not understand at the time how serious Mr Bates’s injuries were.