Priest in Court to Face Child Porn Charges

Northern Echo
October 27, 2010

Fr John Shannon

CRIMINAL proceedings against a Roman Catholic priest charged with possessing child pornography have been committed to Durham Crown Court.

Father John Terence Paul Shannon, 57, is a former lecturer at the 200-year-old St Cuthbert’s Seminary at Ushaw College, near Esh, County Durham.

He 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, of the Elms, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, was suspended from duties in June and has since resigned from the college, which trains students entering priesthood.

He appeared at Consett Magistrates’ Court yesterday 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.

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

District Judge Michael Wood told Fr Shannon 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 offences are alleged to have been committed at Esh and relate to images classed as between levels one and four in terms of severity.

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


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