devastated | 

Hit and run victim was ‘loved by family and friends’ in Luton and Cork

Robert Duggan (60) was found seriously injured in Luton on 11 June, after being deliberately hit by a car driven by William McDonagh

William McDonagh of Verulam Gardens, Luton

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A hit and run victim was remembered as a “kind, generous and caring” dad by his daughter while his sister said he was loved by his family and “so many friends in Luton and Cork”.

Robert Duggan (60) was found seriously injured in Luton on June 11, 2022 after being deliberately hit by a car driven by William McDonagh.

Mr Duggan's daughter Karen who was with him at the time, tried to push him out of the way but he died from his injuries shortly after paramedics arrived.

As McDonagh (53) started a life sentence after being found guilty of murder after a two-week trial at Luton Crown Court, she tribute to her dad.

She said: “I cannot put into words how devastating that day was for me and my family.

“My dad was kind, generous and caring. He was a lovely man and his death has left a large hole in my life which cannot be filled.”

Mr Duggan’s sister Tina also said: “Robert was a character like no other, loved by his family and so many friends in Luton and Cork, Ireland alike.”

Tina added: “To say Robert had a heart of gold would be underestimating how kind and thoughtful he was. His passing has left a gap in the lives of us, his family, that will never be filled and a gap we would never want to fill.”

The court heard that on June 11, McDonagh was heard banging on the windows and door of Mr Duggan’s flat while he and his daughter were inside.

McDonagh claimed that he was owed money and tried to force his way into the property. McDonagh left the address and was later seen buying whisky and cigarettes on CCTV at a nearby shop.

A short while later he returned to the flat with the bottle of whisky in hand and began banging on the windows again. He used a brick to smash the living room window.

Both Mr Duggan and his daughter headed outside to see McDonagh walking away. On their way back, a black car turned into the road and drove straight at them.

Mr Duggan’s daughter managed to push her father out of the way, but the car headed towards them again and struck Mr Duggan.

Thanks to CCTV, Bedfordshire Police were able to identify the number plate.

A car matching the description was located a few streets away on a cloned number plate which led to the arrest of McDonagh, from Verulam Gardens, Luton.

He will have to serve a minimum of 16 years before he can be considered for parole.

McDonagh also received a further eight-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving to be served concurrently, plus a disqualification from driving for 36 years.

Det Insp Iain Macpherson from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “I am glad that McDonagh’s sentence reflects the severity of his crime in which a man lost his life over something so insignificant.

“McDonagh initially pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of causing death by dangerous driving, but the jury didn’t accept this, and he was rightly found guilty of murder.

“My thoughts have been with Mr Duggan’s family throughout and I hope that today’s result gives them some justice.”

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