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Michael Shine
Michael Shine
Image: Sam Boal via

Retired surgeon accused of groping boys says it's 'unfair' to put alleged events to him at this stage in his life

The trial continues tomorrow before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.
Feb 6th 2019, 5:10 PM 19,944 0

A RETIRED SURGEON accused of groping a number of boys in his care has told a jury that it was “unfair” and “unjust” to put events which allegedly occurred decades ago to him at this stage in his life.

Michael Shine (86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to thirteen charges of indecent assault allegedly committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda.

On the fifteenth day of the trial, Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, put it to Shine that a man gave evidence that in 1971 when he was aged 13 during examinations following surgery on his appendix Shine fondled his testicles and stroked his penis.

Shine said that there were no medical records of the examinations occurring and said that putting alleged events from so many years ago to him at this stage in his life “is unfair, is unjust, is wrong”.

He said that the reality was that if someone had surgery on their appendix, a surgeon would see them briefly to determine that they were fully recovered and “you weren’t concerned with them after that”.

Shine said that the allegation he masturbated a different 13-year-old patient following surgery for testicular torsion and that he only stopped when the teenager said he was unlikely to ejaculate as he had previously masturbated the night before was “unbelievable” and “shocking”.

He said the incident had absolutely never happened and said he had never discussed masturbation with a patient in his whole life. He agreed that doing as the complainant described would have been medically inappropriate.

“It is impossible, because it never occurred,” he said.

In her closing speech to the jury, Noctor said that the accounts of all complainants in the case were similar. She said that the evidence was that each alleged assault happened to a male child while they were alone with their doctor and that the nature of the assaults themselves were similar.

Noctor asked the jury to consider the “dynamics” regarding persons coming forward and making allegations such as these in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. She said that every person in the country was entitled to undertake both civil and criminal cases regarding events they say occurred.

In his closing speech to the jury, Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, said that this was “a very unusual case” due to the length of time between the alleged offences and the trial. He suggested that memories fail and that people can be open to suggestion and false memory.

Hartnett said that all seven complainants in the case went to the support group Dignity 4 Patients and that all of them had brought civil proceedings. He said it was the burden of the prosecution to prove that there was no contamination of the complainants by Dignity 4 Patients.

The trial continues tomorrow before Judge Martin Nolan and a jury.

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Brion Hoban


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