Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Sex assault charge against former Dubbo Mayor dropped

A historical sexual assault charge against former Dubbo Mayor, Ben Shields, has been dropped.

The 43-year-old long-time councillor was facing trial in Parramatta District Court this week, accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man at his home on New Year’s Day in 2003.

Mr Shields was not arrested and charged until 2022. He took indefinite medical leave from Council in July last year.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual intercourse without consent. The trial was entering its fourth day before a jury when it was aborted, with Crown prosecutor, Andrew Issacs, telling Judge Baker that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had decided that there would be “no further proceedings” against the former Mayor.

Mr Shields’ defence barrister, Margaret Cunneen SC, made an application to award costs, with a hearing set down for July.

Latest Articles