June 27, 2022 11.58 am

Suspended Lincolnshire Police officer in court accused of sexual touching

Unable to enter pleas due to barrister strikes

A Lincolnshire Police officer charged with two counts of sexual touching was today (Monday) unable to enter pleas to the allegations he faces because of strike action by barristers.

Liam David Shields, 25, who was based in Stamford, is accused of the offences alleged to have happened between February and May 2019 and on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

Shields today appeared at Lincoln Crown Court where his case was listed for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

However Shields, who is suspended from duty, was unable to enter any pleas to the allegations he faces after the court was told his defence barrister was unable to attend court because of strike action being carried out by the Criminal Bar Association.

Eight out of 10 barristers voted for the walkouts amid concerns the government will not improve a proposed increase in criminal Legal Aid.

Shields, wearing a dark blue shirt and tie, spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the hearing.

Judge John Pini QC told Shields he would not ask him to enter any pleas to the allegations he faces because his barrister was not present.

The judge also told Shields any trial could not be heard at Lincoln Crown Court because he is still a serving a Lincolnshire police officer.

His trial, which is estimated to last three days, is expected to be heard at another Crown Court in the East Midlands.

Shields, who is living in the Grantham area, was granted conditional bail and will next appear at Lincoln Crown Court on August 26.

Judge Pini told Shields: “I am adjourning your case for trial. It will not be heard here. (Lincoln)

“As soon as I know what court can take the case, your solicitors will be informed.”