Dr Eireann Kerr: Judge's warning as rape drug doctor's appeal postponed
The doctor convicted of assaulting two police officers while she was under the influence of a date rape drug has had her appeal postponed.
The judge hearing Eireann Kerr's case said he wanted the appeal to proceed by July 6.
Dr Kerr (32), a hospital anaesthetist now employed by the Belfast Trust, appeared in front of Judge Philip Babington for the brief hearing at Londonderry Appeal Court, two weeks after she was given a two-month conditional discharge.
Judge Peter King imposed the sentence on Dr Kerr for disorderly behaviour, assaulting two police officers and resisting arrest on December 13, 2013 despite his acceptance that there was evidence to support her claim that she was under the influence of a date rape drug known as GHB.
Mr King accepted forensic evidence extracted from Dr Kerr's hair which showed a high level of GHB present, and also agreed that the drug had been put in Dr Kerr's drink on a night out against her will. He told the court that, because of the law, his hands were tied and he had no choice but to convict her.
Yesterday her barrister Eoghan Devlin told the judge that the case had come back to court fairly quickly after the conviction and that he was in the process of preparing a written submission for the Public Prosecution Service that would raise several points.
Mr Devlin said he realised it would take some time for the PPS to consider its response and asked for the case to be returned to court for mention in two or three weeks' time when he would hopefully be in a position to update the court.
He added that he had been in contact with the PPS and it was in agreement, however a solicitor from the PPS told the judge that he was under the impression the case would be heard.
Mr Babington granted Mr Devlin's application for the delay but warned both sides that he wanted the case heard quickly, saying "justice delayed is justice denied".
A petition calling for the PPS to drop the case against Dr Kerr has been signed by 8,561 people, just 1,439 off the 10,000 target.
To sign the online petition in support of Dr Eireann Kerr, log on to http://tinyurl.com/koxp4kh