Priest from Fenland to appear at court on child porn charges

A ROMAN Catholic priest from Fenland will appear at Durham Crown Court charged with possessing child pornography.

Father John Terence Paul Shannon, 57, of The Elms, Chatteris, is facing 17 charges of making an indecent photograph of a child on or before June 16, and possession of 763 indecent photographs of children.

Fr Shannon was suspended from his duties at the 200-year-old St Cuthbert’s Seminary at Ushaw College, near Esh, County Durham, in June.

He has since resigned from the college which trains students entering priesthood.

The offences are alleged to have been committed at Esh and relate to images classed as between levels one and four in terms of severity.


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He appeared at Consett Magistrates’ Court on October 26 and spoke only to confirm his name and address.

John Garside, from the Crown Prosecution Service, applied to have the papers formally committed to Durham Crown Court.

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Paul Donoghue, Fr Shannon’s legal representative, did not make any representation and no pleas were entered.

District Judge Michael Wood told Fr Shannon that his conditional bail had been extended and he would next have to attend Durham Crown Court on December 3 for a plea and directions hearing.

The arrest was prompted by information passed by the seminary to Durham Police and he was charged on August 6.

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