Eireann Kerr: Petition support soaring for drugged drink doctor
Almost two-thirds of the signatures needed on a petition supporting spiked drink doctor Eireann Kerr have already been gathered.
More than 5,000 people had signed the call for justice for the medic who was convicted of assaulting two police officers after she was given date rape drug GHB without her knowledge.
Dr Kerr was on a Christmas night out in Londonderry with work colleagues from Altnagelvin Hospital when she blacked out.
A worried taxi driver took her to Strand Road police headquarters where she assaulted two officers and she was later charged.
Despite a court finding that Dr Kerr (34) was not responsible for her actions, she did not have a defence in law and was convicted.
Because of her criminal conviction, the doctor now faces being possibly struck off the medical register by the General Medical Council, which will investigate the case.
Her former supervisor at Altnagelvin where she trained to be an anaesthetist started the petition in her support.
Dr John Doherty launched the petition last Friday and has called on members of the public to support his message that it is not in the public interest to convict her.
Dr Doherty said: "I feel strongly that she is a good doctor and that it's not in the public interest to remove the opportunity to let her continue.
"It is grossly unfair that Eireann should face any charges, as she is the obvious victim here."
The target is 7,500 signatures, when the petition can then be sent on to the Public Prosecution Service calling for it to drop the case.
Her lawyers are appealing her conviction through the courts and are also asking the PPS to justify why the case was taken.
The PPS said in a recent statement: "We consider that it is in the public interest to prosecute those cases where there is evidence of an attack on emergency services staff, such as police, particularly when injuries are sustained by those staff.
"In the particular circumstances of this case, we offered the defendant a caution which she refused. We note that in subsequent court proceedings, the defendant was found guilty and sentenced accordingly. We respect the sentencing decision made.
"We can confirm that we have received from the defence team notice to appeal the court's decision and this matter is now subjudice. We will not provide any further comment on this case at this time."
Dr Kerr had some good news yesterday as she completed the London Marathon in four hours and 11 minutes.
She was running to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young, which works to reduce the number of young cardiac deaths.
The petition can be found here