Cathedral priest denies sex assaults

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A cathedral priest has denied three counts of indecently assaulting a male in the 1990s.

Canon Stephen Shield, 53, who was dean at the Roman Catholic cathedral in St Peter’s Road, Lancaster, appeared at Preston Crown Court to face the charges.

Shield was arrested by police on March 23 and charged with three offences of indecent assault relating to one male.

The offences are said to have been committed more than two decades ago when the alleged victim was aged between 17 and 24.

Shield was granted bail with conditions he does not contact directly or indirectly the alleged victim or have any unsupervised contact with any person under the age of 18.

A trial date has been set for November 11. Following his arrest a Lancaster diocese spokesman confirmed that Shield had withdrawn from the ministry pending the outcome of the court proceedings.