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Road rage killer's jail term reduced by two years


Karl Donohoe

Karl Donohoe

Road rage victim Raymond Bates

Road rage victim Raymond Bates


Karl Donohoe

A motorist who killed another in a "road rage homicide" has had his prison sentence reduced by the Court of Appeal.

Karl Donohoe (33), of Fisherman's Wharf, Ringsend, Dublin 4, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Ray Bates at the junction of Tritonville Road and Sandymount Road on September 26, 2010.

He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment with the final two suspended by Mr Justice Paul Carney at the Central Criminal Court on April 23, 2012.

The Court of Appeal found yesterday that the sentence handed down to Donohoe represented "a category of gravity" unwarranted by the facts and accordingly reduced his jail term by two years.

In a written judgment delivered yesterday President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Seán Ryan said the manslaughter arose in circumstances where Donohoe and the deceased were driving their cars through Sandymount in Dublin going the same direction.

Donohoe had his two-year-old daughter in the back of his vehicle and was accompanied by a friend in the passenger seat.

Initial contact occurred when Donohoe stopped at traffic lights and the deceased man flashed his lights at Donohoe.


Both men got out of their vehicles and proceeded to shout at each other.

Mr Bates (inset) had spent five-and-a-half hours prior to the incident drinking in a pub in Sandymount, the judgment stated.

Following the altercation both men returned to their cars. Donohoe went to drive away but Mr Bates drove around his car and mounted a traffic island forcing Donohoe to move slightly to the left of the road. Donohoe got out of his vehicle, took a hurley from the boot and started hitting the front passenger door of Mr Bates' car. The deceased man got out of his car and approached Donohoe with his hands in the air in front of him in a non-confrontational manner.

Donohoe hit him with the hurley a number of times as Mr Bates tried to ward off the blows but Donohoe continued to strike him on the arms and also on the head.

Mr Bates fell and was struck a number of times on the head while on the ground.

When the attack ended, Mr Bates got up, got into his car and drove home.

He subsequently died in hospital on September 30, 2010.