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Petition seeks justice for date rape drug doctor Eireann Kerr who attacked police

Campaign seeks to overthrow conviction 'farce'

By Lesley Houston

Published 24/04/2015

Eireann Kerr with her medal after completing the London Marathon
Eireann Kerr with her medal after completing the London Marathon

A public petition calling for justice for Eireann Kerr, the doctor who was convicted of assaulting police officers while drugged after her drink was spiked, has been set up.

Two separate legal appeals are also being mounted - one through the courts and one calling on the Public Prosecution Service to drop the case.

Her former boss, Dr John Doherty, launched the petition and called on members of the public to support his message that it is not in the public interest to convict Eireann.

Dr Doherty, a consultant anaesthetist at Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, where Eireann trained for a year before moving to the Royal in Belfast, 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."

Dr Kerr said yesterday that she must have believed that she was under attack whenever she lashed out at the police. She also said that she had been in a "completely confusional state" when she assaulted two officers.

The 34-year-old told how she had spent a "lot of time and money" trying to prove her drink had been spiked.

She added that she believed people caught in her unfortunate position should not be treated as criminals.

A judge agreed she had been drugged without her knowledge, but he said his hands were tied by the law and so he had no choice but to convict.

Dr Kerr's solicitor Derwin Harvey said that alongside an appeal against the criminal conviction, a second appeal would be lodged in due course with the Public Prosecution Service.

Dr Eireann Kerr
Dr Eireann Kerr

"Now that there has been a finding by the court that Miss Kerr was the victim of a more sinister crime and that her actions were as a result of involuntary intoxication it's our intention to write to the PPS and ask them to consider whether it is in the public interest to continue with this prosecution," Mr Harvey said.

The appeal has been listed for May 5.

Dr Kerr has also spoken about her ordeal.

Referring to her behaviour in police custody which was captured on CCTV, she said: "I know they were trying to help me, but I must have thought I was being attacked.

"I would just like to draw attention to the fact that you have to think about the character of the person as a whole and the situation that they have been in, and not just treat everybody as a criminal.

"The police were never brought to my aid because I was doing something wrong.

"I was unconscious in the back of a taxi and he [the driver] didn't know where I was going or how to bring me home.

"I understand that I must have been very difficult. I couldn't stand and I couldn't co-operate with them."

The petition can be found here

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