Tuesday 18 December 2018

Alleged victim of indecent assault went to gardai after hearing about 'campaign against' doctor, court hears

Retired surgeon Dr Michael Shine (85) at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts.
Retired surgeon Dr Michael Shine (85) at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court Pic Collins Courts.

Declan Brennan

The trial of a retired surgeon accused of indecently assaulting patients has heard that one alleged victim went to gardaí after hearing about a “campaign against” the doctor.

Michael Shine (85) denies eight charges of committing indecent assault at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and at his private clinic, both in Drogheda, Co Louth, on dates between 1964 and 1991.

On Tuesday the first complainant, now aged 65, testified at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that while attending at the hospital in 1964 with a chest cyst Dr Shine massaged his testicles.

Today Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, put it to the witness that there was a campaign, run by a woman called Bernadette Sullivan, against Dr Shine.

He said there was a lot of publicity around this campaign including advertisements and talks on local radio asking anybody who had been treated by Dr Shine to come forward to make complaints.

The witness agreed he telephoned a number provided by local radio and later met with the organisation run by Ms Sullivan.

Mr Hartnett submitted that the organisation arranged for the witness to meet with gardaí and to get a solicitor to arrange for actions for damages against the hospital. The witness agreed that a civil claim was pursued.

Counsel asked the witness if he was advised on how best to present or not present his case. The witness, who is legally entitled to anonymity, said he could not answer this and said “it was just an ordinary meeting”.

The complainant accepted that at one stage he considered withdrawing his complaint to gardaí. He agreed he said this to the Bernadette Sullivan group and they said they would meet him and advise him.

Mr Hartnett put it to him that his reason for considering withdrawing his complaint was that there was no basis for it. The witness said this was wrong.

He said he had no memory of attending a psychiatrist despite medical records indicating that he did in September 2010. Mr Hartnett said this was also because there was no basis for his complaint.

“That’s wrong, I know what happened to me,” the witness said.

Mr Shine, of Wellington Rd. in Dublin 4 is accused of committing the indecent assaults at the hospital on unknown dates between 1964 and 1965, 1970 and 1972, 1975 and 1976 and, finally, on a unknown date between 1988 and 1991.

He is also accused of indecently assaulting a male on two occasions in a clinic in Drogheda on unknown dates in 1973 and 1974 and in 1975.

The trial continues before Judge Cormac Quinn and a jury of four men and eight women and is expected to last two weeks.

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