Victim of retired surgeon Michael Shine tells court he was given 'a life sentence of pain'

Michael Shine (86), of Ballsbridge, Dublin, leaving court today. Picture: Collins Courts

One of the victims of a retired surgeon who groped seven boys over a period of 30 years has told a court he was given “a life sentence of pain”.

Michael Shine (aged 86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin, had denied 12 charges of indecent assault and one charge of sexual assault committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda on dates between 1971 and 1992.

On day 17 of the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, a jury of two women and eight men returned guilty verdicts, having deliberated for just over six hours.

Reading his victim impact statement today in court, Patrick Cusack (aged 56), who waived his right to anonymity, said Shine had handed him “a life sentence of pain, hurt, anguish and shame”.

Mr Cusack told the court he had not had a proper night's sleep in 45 years until the guilty verdict was announced two weeks ago. He said that having received the justice he has wanted since 1974, he could now truly say that what happened was not his fault.

A second man who also read his own victim impact statement aloud said that Shine had no understanding of what he had done. The man said he does not trust many people as a result of the abuse he suffered.

“I am aware that under a facade, people can have evil motives. He (Shine) taught me that,” the man said.

Detective Garda Seamus Nolan told Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, that Shine indecently assaulted six boys aged between 11 and 15 on dates ranging from 1971 to 1988. He said the sole count of sexual assault related to an incident in 1992 when the injured party was aged 16.

Det. Gda Nolan said that during the trial, a medical expert gave evidence that there was no medical basis for the behaviour described by the seven men.

Shine has three previous convictions for indecent assault relating to two complainants who were both aged 15 in 1975; he was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment for these in late 2017. These convictions are currently under appeal.

Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, said his client was attacked on the steps of the courthouse today and a liquid was thrown at him. He said that Shine's “health is precarious” and that a prison sentence would have a profound impact on a man of his age.

Mr Hartnett said that Shine faced the prospect of dying in prison without the comfort of his friends and family. He asked the judge to consider not imposing a custodial sentence and asked that he take into account that the cases occurred a long time ago.

Judge Martin Nolan remanded Shine on continuing bail and adjourned the matter for sentencing to next Monday.

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