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12-year sentence for 'road rage' manslaughter

Karl Donohue is jailed for 12 years for the manslaughter of a British man who he attacked with a hurley in September 2010.

A 31-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for 12 years, with the final two years in suspended, in what is thought to be Ireland’s first conviction for ‘road rage’.

Karl Donohue had pleaded guilty at the Criminal Courts of Justice last week to the manslaughter of Raymond Bates, a 49-year-old Englishman who who was doing temporary work in Ireland as an inspector on a gas pipeline being laid in Dublin.

RTÉ reported that Bates had drank “around ten pints” while watching a soccer match in Sandymount on 26 September 2010. When driving home, he and Donohue got into an argument after Donohue did not pull away from a junction quickly enough.

Bates began to tailgate Donohue, who later said he feared his car – in which he was travelling with his young daughter – would be rammed.

After Bates attempted to overtake and cut across Donohue’s path, Donohue got out of his vehicle and began to hit Bates’ jeep with a hurley.

When Bates got out of the vehicle, Donohue struck him with the hurley on his left temple, causing him to collapse to the ground.

Bates attended St Vincent’s Hospital the following day for his injuries, but fell into a coma and died three days later.

Donohue had told Gardaí in the aftermath of the attack that Bates had “got what he deserved”, though at the time he had not known the extent of Bates’ injuries.

PA reported that Bates’ widow Brenda, who had been married to him for 28 years, shouted “Yes” when the sentence was read out, before bursting into tears. She had to be escorted from the courtroom.

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