March 2013

Bishop Auckland man jailed for 13 years for “repulsive” sex abuse

A MAN who subjected a child to “repulsive” sexual abuse was today (Friday March 8) jailed for 13 years.

John Andrew Shiel, 44, who still denies committing the offences, was convicted of six charges after a trial lasting seven days at Durham Crown Court, in January.

Shiel, of Albert Hill, Bishop Auckland, denied one count of indecent assault and five of sexual activity with a child, but he was found ‘guilty’ on unanimous jury verdicts.

Sentence was adjourned to allow an impact statement to be taken from the victim and Shiel was remanded in custody by Judge Christopher Prince.

Having read the statement, Judge Prince told Shiel: “Those, such as you, who commit offences like this, must understand if it has such an effect, it has to be replicated in sentence.”

The court heard the victim only revealed what had taken place several years after the offences, while drinking with friends at a party.

David Lamb, for Shiel, said he is a man with no previous convictions, who has still continued to deny the offences.

The court heard that until his conviction Shiel worked in logistics, in customs support for the Department for Work and Pensions.

Jailing him, Judge Prince told him he was an “intelligent, but arrogant man”, who put the victim through a “repulsive experience”.

Shiel, who was disqualified from ever working with children, must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.