Saturday 24 February 2018

Alleged victim of surgeon on trial for groping teenage boys says he denied anything was wrong for years

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

An alleged victim of a retired surgeon who denies groping teenage boys has said that he told himself for years that there was nothing improper about what the doctor allegedly did.

The complainant told the trial of Michael Shine (85) that during an examination of his testes the doctor massaged the base of his penis.

Mr Shine of Wellington Road in Dublin 4, denies eight charges of indecently assaulting patients at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and at his private clinic, both in Drogheda, Co Louth, on dates between 1964 and 1991.

On day five of the trial today, the sixth complainant testified that in 1975 he collapsed at school and was sent to his GP. His GP referred him to Mr Shine and during an examination Mr Shine diagnosed bi-lateral undescended testicles and a hernia on both sides.

Mr Shine later operated on him and corrected the issues. The complainant said he later attended at Mr Shine's clinic for follow-up examinations. He was aged around 15 at the time.

He said during these examinations, Mr Shine would occasionally have touched his penis but in the context he didn't consider it unusual at the time and it didn't bother him.

He said in hindsight he thought that “perhaps he was testing my reaction”.

He told Cathleen Noctor BL, prosecuting, that there were two later incidents that he did consider a problem at the time.

On the first occasion, he testified, the doctor asked him if he had a difficulty having an erection. The complainant said he considered this a legitimate question.

He said Dr Shine then proceeded to massage the base of his penis and said to the patient “not to worry”. The witness said he thought this was legitimate too but said he didn't want to get an erection.

“I tried not to think about what was happening. I didn't want to get an erection. I felt that was the purpose of it,” he said.

He said the massaging went on for a considerable length of time and he wanted it to stop.

“There was an element of wondering if it was legitimate or if it wasn't. The best I could do was disassociate myself from what was happening, to put my mind somewhere else,” he said.

He said on the next appointment with Dr Shine, the doctor again massaged the base of his penis.

Under cross-examination, he denied that he was judging the events of the examination with hindsight.

He said he had “no doubt, at the time of the first occasion, that it was inappropriate”.

“I don't believe his hand should have been at the base of my penis. It was wrong,” he said, adding that he had tried to convince himself for years that it was appropriate for the examination.

Mr Shine 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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