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

Morris McShane

Morris McShane

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.

Paul Currer, defending, said in mitigation: “Mr McShane has shown remorse by pleading guilty.”

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.