Killer’s guilty plea over row

TRIBUTE: Raymond Bates victim of road rage attack. Sisters Denise Brunwell and Karen bates.

TRIBUTE: Raymond Bates victim of road rage attack. Sisters Denise Brunwell and Karen bates.

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A MAN has admitted killing a grandfather with a bat in a “moment of madness.”

Karl Donohoe was due to go on trail charged with the murder of Peterlee gas pipe worker Raymond Bates yesterday, when he entered a plea to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

The 30-year-old defendant’s counsel offered his apologies to Mr Bates’ family, who were at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court for the short hearing.

The senior counsel for the state said the plea was acceptable to the prosecution.

Mr Bates, dad to Paul, Mark and Karl, who was married to Brenda, was working in the city when he was beaten around the head with a hurley stick.

The 49-year-old died in hospital four days later.

The apparent road rage incident was sparked after the men had a row in the Sandymount suburb of the Dublin, on September 26, 2010.

Both men drove away from the scene before the confrontation was reported to the Garda.

Mr Bates, a grandfather-of-one, went to St Vincent’s Hospital the following day after becoming unwell.

He was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he fell in to a coma and died on September 30.

Donohoe, a crane worker from the west of the city, was arrested and initially charged with assault causing serious harm.

A decision was then made to charge him with murder.

Brendan Grehan, senior counsel for Donohoe, said his client wanted to take the opportunity to pass on his regret over the incident to Mr Bates’ family.

Mr Grehan said: “He said it was a moment of madness on his part and he is sorry for his actions.”

Donohue was remanded in custody until April 16, when he will be sentenced.

A victim impact statement will be read to the court during that hearing.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham