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Dignity4Patients - Press Statement 22.04.2023

Director of Public Prosecutions mistake has led to ‘serious miscarriage of justice’ for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

In June 2022, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) informed 25 adult survivors of alleged childhood sexual abuse by former surgeon Michael Shine, that they are not proceeding to trial. Shocked and dismayed victims applied for an Independent Review of the DPP’s decision. In mid-April some victims received a letter from the DPP that in conclusion of this so called independent review, undertaken by an unnamed barrister of their choice, that this decision not to prosecute still stands. A decision based on delay error that arose at their office in the first place. Despite it being called an Independent Review and each of the victims asking specific questions about their cases, the letters were generic and used exactly the same language. Victims are absolutely devastated. One victim said that ‘For me the DPP is actively trying to stop prosecutions. They are stretching the law to help protect him and stopping the law from protecting me”. Another said that ‘to say that I am disappointed is an understatement. I was expecting a complete independent review of the whole investigation of my case.’ Not a generic letter and my information reviewed by a Snr Council nominated by the DPP.” Adrienne Reilly, CEO of Dignity4Patients, the advocacy group supporting the adult survivors who as children were subjected to sexual abuse by Michael Shine said “that this is disturbing news for all victims. How is this independent if the DPP appoint the Snr Council. How do you go against the master that pay you?” Adrienne continues “19 new victims have come forward since this judgement. Victims who have never spoken to any one before. It is hugely traumatic to disclose sexual abuse for the first time but to then find out now there is a possibility that the perpetrator won’t face prosecution compounds this trauma”. Adrienne states that it is not entirely clear what avenues of redress victims have but what is clear is that the DPP have caused this. She says ‘it was their offices error that led to the delay in Michael Shine being informed he was going to be prosecuted, that resulted in this Judgment. A judgment that now lets him off the hook from future prosecution?” Adrienne says the victims want government to tell them ‘What justice can they get if Criminal Justice options are being closed down?’ Should these victims now rightly be given a Commission of Investigation (Public Inquiry)?’ KRW Law solicitor Kevin Winters who acts on behalf of some of the victims of Michael Shine stated “We have been instructed to examine the latest decision of the DPP refusing to reverse an earlier decision not to prosecute him on historic sex abuse allegations. As part of alternative legal remedies, we are looking at High Court civil proceedings in relation to previous failings. Inquiries have also been made by victims to access sensitive medical information, the details of which will help inform our next steps. Whatever way you look at it there has been a serious miscarriage of justice.” Press Contact:

Adrienne Reilly CEO

Telephone : 083 088 6301





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