A WIFE has hit out at a road-rage killer who has torn her life apart.
Brenda Bates was speaking on the steps of the court where the man responsible for her husband‘s death was yesterday sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Dad-of-three Raymond Bates, from Peterlee, had been working in Dublin as a quality control inspector on a gas pipeline when Karl Donohoe beat him with a hurley stick.
Both men drove off from the scene, but the next day, the 49-year-old was taken in to hospital and fell into a coma. He died four days after the beating.
Mrs Bates was treated for post traumatic stress disorder.
Outside the court, the widow, who was with her sons, Paul, Mark and Carl, said of the sentence: “It will never be enough.”
In a statement, Mrs Bates’ sister, Vivienne Sanderson, said they had been scarred by the images of Mr Bates being brought home in a coffin, but comforted by support they had been given.
She said: “Karl Donohoe has not only destroyed our family, but he has also destroyed his own.
“As a family we hope he will be as big and proud now as he was when he told the Gardai that their dad deserved to die.
“The sentence he’s been given will never be enough to ease the pain or make up for the loss that we are suffering or that his own child is now going to suffer.”
Dublin’s Central Criminal Court heard the men clashed when Mr Bates tail-gated and flashed Donohoe’s car as he got behind the wheel of his Mitsubishi Pajero after drinking 10 pints of Guinness on September 26, 2010.
Donohoe, who was with his 18-month-old daughter and a friend, stopped and both men argued.
The victim went on to overtake Donohoe’s Toyota Rav4 and mounted a central island before cutting in on the Dublin man, who claimed he feared he was going to be rammed off the road.
Witnesses said Donohoe looked possessed as he took the stick, hit the Mitsubishi, which blocked his path, then Mr Bates several times, including once to the left temple as he lay defenceless on the ground.
Mrs Bates sobbed uncontrollably as the court heard her husband, a haemophiliac, was later rushed to hospital, fell into a coma and died.
Donohoe, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, was told by Mr Justice Paul Carney the last two years of the jail term would be suspended on condition of a 1,000 euro (£820) bond and on the basis that Donohoe stays away from the Bates family.
He was first charged with assault causing harm, then murder, before the prosecution accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter in February.
The crane worker has apologise to the Bates family and said it was out of character and happened in a moment of madness.