‘No review’ for jailed priest

Father Stephen Shield.
Father Stephen Shield.

A former Lancaster Cathedral canon who was jailed for sexually abusing a young man who had hopes of joining the priesthood will not have his sentence reviewed.

The Attorney General’s Office - the Government’s legal department - received a complaint that the one-year prison term given to Stephen Shield on December 13 was “unduly lenient”.

The 55-year-old was found guilty of three counts of indecent assault after a trial at Preston Crown Court.

But a spokeswoman for the department this week confirmed that the sentence would not be reviewed.

She said: “After careful consideration the Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC MP, has decided not to refer the sentence of Stephen Shield to the Court of Appeal as possibly unduly lenient as he does not think the court would increase the sentence.”

The trial in November heard how the sex assaults, committed by Shield in the 1980s and 1990s, had affected the victim psychologically and spiritually.