Retired surgeon Shine (85) gets 20 months for 'insidious' sex attacks
A retired surgeon has been jailed for 20 months for sexual attacks on two teenage boys in the 1970s.
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-1970s.
Shine, of Wellington Road in Dublin, had pleaded not guilty 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. He was acquitted on the remainder of the charges.
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 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 the sex offender a week to put his affairs in order and to marshal his medication.
The court heard that both victims were aged 15 when Shine groped them during medical examinations.
One victim attended at the hospital with an ingrown 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 touched him.
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.
The second victim testified that during two follow-up examinations for undescended testes at Shine's private clinic in Drogheda, Shine touched him inappropriately.
He told the court that for years he struggled with guilt 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.
In imposing his sentence Judge Quinn said he was taking into consideration the mitigating factors of Shine's age and medical conditions. He also noted Shine's long and productive medical career and a number of character references handed into the court.