Friday 20 September 2019

Detective sergeant appeals her harassment conviction

Challenge: Eve Doherty is appealing her conviction. Picture: Collins
Challenge: Eve Doherty is appealing her conviction. Picture: Collins

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A Garda detective sergeant found guilty of harassing a State solicitor by sending abusive letters and emails is seeking to have her conviction overturned on grounds that the State retained her data under "doomed" Irish law.

Eve Doherty (50), with an address in Blackglen Road, Sandyford, Dublin, was found guilty by a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of harassing State solicitor Elizabeth Howlin between September 2011 and March 2013. Doherty, who had denied the charge, maintains her innocence.

At the time, Ms Howlin worked with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The trial heard that over an 18-month period, letters and emails were sent to Ms Howlin's home, place of work and to her GP calling her "corrupt", an "incompetent, useless hobbit" and a "two-faced bitch".

Sentencing Doherty to three years' imprisonment in January 2018, Judge Melanie Greally said the communications contained outright and "scurrilous" lies, and statements which were variously disparaging, insulting and offensive, both from a personal and professional manner.

Doherty has brought an appeal on more than a dozen grounds. Her counsel, Michael O'Higgins SC, said the prosecution relied on two pieces of technical evidence - a static IP address and information related to a "hushmail" email account kept on a server in Canada. He said requests were made for the data under the "doomed" Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment.

Irish Independent

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