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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
Sam Boal/ Retired surgeon Michael Shine arriving at the Central Criminal Courts in Dublin this morning.
michael shine

Retired surgeon guilty of sex attacks on young boys given 20 months in prison

Lawyers for the retired surgeon had previously claimed that imprisoning him would kill him.

Updated: 19.45

A RETIRED SURGEON has been jailed for 20 months for sexual attacks on two teenage boys in the mid-70s.

Last month, a jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court convicted Michael Shine (85) of indecently assaulting the two 15-year-old patients in a hospital in the mid-70s.

Judge Cormac Quinn said the severe breach of trust by a senior doctor at the pinnacle of his profession was one of the most aggravating factors. He said Shine had abused the trust of patients and the trust of the hospital.

He said the abuse occurred in places where the victims, who were children, were entitled to feel they were in a place that was safe.

Judge Quinn imposed consecutive sentences of 10 months for the indecent assault on each of the victims. The judge rejected an application from Shine’s lawyers to give Shine a week to put his affairs in order and to marshal his medication.

Lawyers for the retired surgeon had previously claimed that imprisoning him would kill him.

Shine, of Wellington Road in Dublin, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to eight charges of indecently assaulting six patients at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and at his private clinic, both in Drogheda, Co Louth, on dates between 1964 and 1991.

After hearing details of the victim impact statements and medical records of the accused today, Judge Cormac Quinn said he would sentence Shine after lunch.

Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, asked the judge to consider suspending in full any sentence he considered appropriate. He said that Shine’s medical condition includes severe angina and he has received four heart stents.

He said that medical records state that Shine is showing signs of age and is at a high risk of suffering from progressive dementia.

Medical condition

Hartnett said his client’s medical condition was perilous and imprisonment would be fatal and would be unnecessarily cruel four decades later.

Asked by Judge Quinn if Shine accepted the jury verdicts, counsel replied: “Well he has been convicted”.

One victim was aged around 15 or 16 in 1976 when he attended at the hospital with an ingrowing toenail. He told the trial that Dr Shine tied him to a bed with rubber bungee restraints and a blanket and then slipped his hand under the blanket and started massaging his testicles.

He said he knew it was weird but didn’t know if he could speak because he was “just a young boy”.

In his victim impact statement, this man said the assault had a profoundly negative effect on his life.

He said his life changed from a time of youthful innocence to one of anxiety, insomnia and depression after the attack.

He said Shine’s blatant denials caused the case to drag on.

The second victim testified that during two follow-up examinations for undescended testes at Shine’s private clinic in Drogheda, Shine massaged the base of his penis.

On the second occasion, the victim forced himself to ejaculate because he was afraid the attack would escalate and wanted it to end.

He told the court that for years he tried struggled with guilt, embarrassment and shame. He was confused about whether Shine’s actions were wrong and convinced himself they were not.

“That is the insidious nature of sexual assault. It leaves you believing somehow you were at fault,” he said.

He said Shine used his position to take the opportunity to assault him and this was a great breach of trust. He said Shine’s denials during the trial verified for him for the first time that what Shine did was wrong.

“I would like some recognition from Micheal Shine that he knows what he did was wrong,” he said.

During the trial last month, Shine admitted seeing the two victims but denied anything improper had taken place.

The jury acquitted Shine of four separate charges of indecently assaulting three other teenagers on dates in 1964, 1970 and 1976. Shine denied ever seeing these patients and there were no medicals records to confirm that he had seen them on the dates of the alleged assaults.

Read: Former surgeon Michael Shine convicted of indecently assaulting teenage patients >