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Judge praises 'brave' Buncrana woman 15.05.07

A judge has released a chronic alcoholic charged with drink driving, into the care of his 'very brave' daughter in Buncrana.
Judge Desmond Zaidan described Kerry Doherty, 7 Summerhill, Buncrana, as a 'very brave woman' to stand by her father, John Doherty, despite the fact she had two small children to look after.
In an emotional case, the local court heard that Doherty, formerly of England, was arrested on suspicion of drink driving on the outskirts of Buncrana on May 8th, 2007. He was rearrested the following day, on a second allegation of drink driving.
During submissions on whether or not the accused should be remanded in custody, Kerry Doherty took the stand and testified that her parents, both alcoholics, were selling their home in England and had been staying with her for ten weeks prior to the incident. She said they had 'dried out' and her father was on medication for a number of health problems.
However, they 'relapsed' the weekend prior to the alleged drink driving incidents and following a big argument, she and her husband "kicked them out" of their home.
The defendant and his wife were staying at a local hotel at the time of his arrest, the court heard.
Ms. Doherty said that after her parents left, she found herself "driving around the town, checking for his car".
Defence solicitor Ciaran MacLochlainn said his client was a very ill man from whom he had difficulty getting proper instructions on how to proceed with the case. He said such was the extent of his sickness and his dependence on medication, he would fear for his life if he was detained in custody.
Fighting back tears, Ms. Doherty agreed to take her father into her care again until the case was disposed of.
Judge Zaidan stressed that if he was to release the defendant on bail, he had to safeguard the public. "If he left here and went out and killed a pedestrian, where would that leave me as a judge? Where would that leave me with my conscience as well?" he asked Mr. MacLochlainn.
At Mr. MacLochlainn's request and with the defendant's consent - the judge agreed that the keys of the defendant's car, a Volkswagen Polo, be surrendered to his daughter. Doherty was remanded on his own bond of 1,000 and an independent surety of 500 from his daughter.
The case was adjourned until June 26th, 2007, with a clearly sympathetic Judge Zaidan urging Ms. Doherty: "If he steps out of line, you contact the Gardai at any time."

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