Monday 22 July 2019

Former consultant shocked by allegations

Trial of retired Louth surgeon accused of molesting boys in his care

Michael Shine on his way into Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Michael Shine on his way into Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

A medical expert told the trial of a retired surgeon accused of groping a number of boys in his care that he was 'shocked' by the allegations of a teenager being masturbated during an examination.

The trial continued over the last week of Michael Shine (86) of Ballsbridge, Dublin has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to thirteen charges of indecent assault allegedly committed during medical examinations at Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth and at two private clinics in Drogheda.

On the tenth day of the trial, Richard Stevens, a former consultant surgeon who currently teaches at the Royal College of Surgeons, gave evidence that he had examined the medical records of all seven complainants and was aware of the allegations they have made.

He told Cathleen Noctor SC, prosecuting, that he could not see a 'reasonable reason' for examining the genitals of a patient who had had surgery on his finger as had been alleged that Mr Shine did to the first complainant.

Mr Stevens said that there could be 'no possible reason' for a surgeon to masturbate a 13 year old to ejaculation in order to check that his genitals were functioning as normal.

He described the allegations that Mr Shine had done so as 'incredible' and said he was "quite shocked by the whole thing".

He said it was quite normal to examine the testicles following surgery for testicular 'tortion', but that there was no reason to also the examine the penis as Mr Shine is alleged to have done.

He told the court that it was 'unwise to examine a child in the absence of a parent and it always has been.'

Mr Stevens said it was normal practice to ask patients to retract their foreskin for examinations but that there was no basis in medical practice for a doctor to masturbate a patient's penis.

He said there was no medical reason to fondle the genitals of a patient who had underwent knee surgery or a patient who had undergone surgery on his appendix, both of which Mr Shine is alleged to have done.

Mr Stevens told Hugh Hartnett SC, defending, that a normal examination of the testicles only takes a moment or two, quickly enough that neither the patient or the doctor becomes embarrassed.

The trial went into legal argument at the end of last week, and was expected to resume again yesterday (Monday) at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The Argus