A doctor convicted of assaulting two police officers after her drink was spiked has said the Public Prosecution Service made the ‘wrong decision’ pursuing the case.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ the day after she was convicted at the local magistrates court, Dr Eireann Kerr said the PPS have ‘chose to ignore’ she was the victim of a crime.
‘The prosecution were given several opportunities to go back to the drawing board and withdraw the charges. The judge himself gave them ample opportunity during the contest and I think they made the wrong decision’.
Dr Kerr is to appeal the conviction and sentence imposed by the court.
She was charged with disorderly behaviour, assaulting and resisting police in December 2013.
The incident occurred after a staff night out, with consultants and trainee anaesthetists from Altnagelvin Hospital.
The court accepted that Dr Kerr’s drink was spiked, however involuntary intoxication is not a defence in law.
Dr Kerr said the PPS ‘tried to put the whole thing down to alcohol. The judge himself said this is not alcohol related and the date rape drug affected my judgement’.
She said the decision to proceed with the case ‘sends out the wrong message’ to other people who have had their drink spiked.
The doctor said the ‘only solace’ she can take from her ordeal is that the person who spiked her drink did not get to carry out their intended actions.
She said she feels that the police and prosecution ‘vilified’ her from the outset.
‘The police were called to my aid. I was unconscious in the back of a taxi and the driver didn’t know how to get me home safely. He took me to the police because they have a duty of care to me’.
‘I understand I must have been a complete handful to look after but I would never do anything to hurt anyone. I didn’t know what was happening or what I was doing’.
Dr Kerr said she understands the police were doing their job on this night and that she hurt two police officers.
However, she feels there has been ‘no mercy shown to me’ despite the fact that she was the victim of a potential crime by having her drink spiked.
She revealed she wrote a letter of apology to the female police officer she assaulted, but does not know if she ever read it.
The doctor, who is originally from Strabane, said the press attention in her case has been particularly difficult and she feels like she has been ‘vilified’ in the local media.
‘The story had been leaked before I ever appeared in court and I was hounded.
‘I had to go into work the next day to see my patients and they had papers with my picture on it lying on their beds. It was a very difficult experience’.
However, Dr Kerr said she has had ‘incredible support’ from within the medical profession and colleagues within Altnagelvin Hospital.
‘Many of them gave me a friendly smile and comforted me when it was very, very difficult to deal with’.
The 32-year-old has spent more than £4,000 for tests to confirm she had the date rape drug GHB in her system.
She said she is ‘by no means wealthy’ but knows she is ‘lucky I was able to afford such tests out of my monthly salary to prove my innocence’.
The trainee anaesthetist wants to raise awareness about the risks of date rape drugs.
She has urged other women in Derry to ‘buddy up’ on nights out and be vigilant.
‘This happens more often than you think and it is important to look after friends who are not capable of looking out for themselves on a night out’.