December 2016

Child abuser back in court after victim reads Sunderland Echo report

Maurice McShane

A stalwart of the amateur dramatics scene who was locked up for abusing children has been convicted of more child sex offences.

Maurice McShane was jailed for more than six years earlier this year, but the latest offences came to light after the victim was saw a report about McShane in the Sunderland Echo, Teesside Crown Court heard.

She suffered abuse as a child when McShane, 54, was a young teenager himself.

The victim said she felt guilty for not coming forward earlier, but Judge Deborah Sherwin told her she had performed a public service because those tasked with monitoring McShane after his release now have a fuller picture of the time span of his offending.

The victim said she still sleeps with a teddy bear ‘for protection’ and still cries herself to sleep most nights.

Her marriage failed due to ‘trust issues’, the court heard. The victim added: “I’m just glad it’s now all over, and I hope I can move forward with my life.

“I’d like to thank everyone, including the police and the CPS, for believing me. “I want to say to any other victims that it’s never too late to come forward.”

Prosecutor Shaun Dodds told the court: “The victim confided in a friend a few years later, and when she was 19 she told her mother, but did not want to go to the police at that time. “It was when she saw the front page of the Sunderland Echo in relation to McShane’s later offences that she decided to report what he had done to her.”

Before McShane pleaded guilty, Paul Currer, defending, asked Judge Sherwin for an indication of the likely sentence should McShane plead guilty.

Judge Sherwin said any sentence would be served at the same time as McShane’s current jail term.

McShane, 54, formerly of Ambleside Avenue, Seaham, admitted three offences of indecent assault. In mitigation, Mr Currer said: “There is very little I wish to say given the previous indication of sentence. “This is Mr McShane’s first taste of custody and I can tell the court he is doing his best to adapt to it, and to prepare for his eventual release and rehabilitation.”

Judge Sherwin jailed McShane for 10 months, to run concurrently with his current sentence.

The judge said: “I have spoken to the judge who passed the six-year sentence to establish if it would have been any longer had these offences being dealt with at the same time. “These offences merit prison, but I have to bear in mind the sentence the defendant is serving, and the principle of totality.”

The court heard McShane is already subject to sex offender registration requirements, and a lifelong order banning him from having any unsupervised contact with children.

March 2016

‘I am better than him’: Victim’s brave statement as am dram stalwart jailed

A stalwart of the amateur dramatics scene in the North East has been jailed for more than six years for the sexual abuse of two girls.

Maurice McShane persuaded his first victim to take part in various sexual acts, Teesside Crown Court heard.

In a victim personal statement read to the court, the victim branded McShane as ‘sick’. “One of the ways I can deal with what happened to me is to tell myself I am better than him,” she said. “I was clever, ambitious, but vulnerable.

“He made me feel adult before I was. I was used and manipulated by him, and for that I feel like an idiot, like it was all my fault.”

The victim criticised the court system, saying her life had been turned upside down by medical and other inquiries into her personal life, making her feel like the criminal.

The court heard McShane groped his second victim twice in his car when it was parked near the Seaham Hall Hotel.

She told the court MsShane’s offending left her worried and stressed, but she couldn’t care what happened to him as long as she didn’t have to see him again.

McShane, 54, of Ambleside Avenue, Seaham, admitted four charges of sexual indecency with a child, sexual activity with a child, and sexual assault of a child.

He was of previous good character, and had been involved in amateur dramatics for more than 20 years, playing roles for Seaham’s Vane Tempest Theatre Group, Murton Theatre Group, St Andrew’s Operatic Society in Roker, Sunderland, and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society in South Shields.

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, jailed McShane for six years and one month.

The recorder told him: “There is a good and bad side to your character. It has been said you have shown remorse, that is part of the good side.

But you didn’t show any remorse until the day of your trial when you pleaded guilty.

Your victims were young and vulnerable, and there was a large age disparity between you.”

He was made the subject of court orders restricting his internet use, banning him from unsupervised contact with children, and banning him from contacting his victims.