independent

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Niall was a class act, dad tells court

ANNE CAMPBELL

Published 19/12/2012 | 21:15

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THE MAN who killed Dundalk teenager Niall Dorr will be sentenced on Friday after the teenager's father read a heart-wrenching victim impact statement that described how his 'class act' son died 'a lonely death on the streets he loved'.

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Dougie Ward (36), with an address at Loughantarve, Knockbridge, appeared at the Central Criminal Court on Monday after he pleaded guilty in October to the Avondale teen's manslaughter on October 14, 2010.

Mr Justice Paul Carney heard how Ward, who was with a number of other people, had ' bounced' the 18-year-old's head off the road up to 10 times and kicked him in the head, treating him ' like a rag doll' after an altercation started.

Niall, who had been walking home along Castle Road with two friends and tried to make the peace when the altercation broke out, died hours later in hospital from the injuries he received. A 36-YEAR-old man who killed a teenager in Dundalk over two years ago after he attacked, punched and kicked the 18-yearold ' like a rag doll' bouncing his head off a road several times, following an unprovoked altercation, is to be sentenced on Friday.

Unemployed father- of- three Douglas Ward, with an address at Loughantarve, Knockbridge, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Niall Dorr, on October 13 2010, at the Central Criminal Court on the morning of his trial on October 30.

Detective Inspector Pat Marry told prosecuting barrister Brendan Grehan, a number of 999 calls were made at around 9pm saying a young man was lying unconscious on the footpath at Castle Road, partially dressed and underneath a parked car.

The teenager was identified as Niall Dorr from Avondale 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 he was encouraged to do so by friends after he had attended a bail hearing at Dundalk Circuit Court, was with four males and two females who were trying to gain access to a house party at Castle Road. Mr Dorr and his two friends were walking by, making their way home.

Det Marry said 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.

He said: ' It was a chance encounter between the groups. 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'.

A witness told Gardai she saw Ward ' bouncing' Mr Dorr's head off the road up to ten 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 Gardai 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 Gardai he was at the scene, despite his DNA being found on a cigarette found at the scene and his DNA on Mr Dorr' t-shirt.

Over 400 statements were taken and CCTV footage from various locations detailing the movements of Ward on the day. After the incident, Ward and another male got a taxi to an off-licence where they purchased more alcohol and returned to his home.

Dr Marie Cassidy said Mr Dorr died on October 14, 2010 as a result of head trauma and a fracture to the skull which caused hemorrhaging. She noted a zig zag pattern on his forehead which she concluded he was 'struck with an object of pattern such as a shoe in a stamping motion.'

Mr Justice Paul Carney remanded Ward back in custody for sentencing on Friday morning.

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