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UK News

Cathedral chancellor stands trial accused of indecently assaulting student at a party

by Premier Journalist

Lincoln Cathedral's chancellor has appeared in court accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a church party more than 20 years ago.

Rev Paul Overend, 54, who's Canon Chancellor at Lincoln Cathedral, was a chaplain at Cardiff University and also a priest at St Teilo's Church in Cardiff, when he allegedly carried out the attack in 1997, as reported by Wales Online.

Newport Crown Court in Wales heard how the alleged victim, who was 20 and a student, was "completely rooted to the spot" during the assault in the kitchen of the chaplaincy.

Harry Baker, prosecuting, told the court that Rev Overend, who was 30 at the time, had followed the woman into the chaplaincy kitchen at Park Place, in the centre of Cardiff, before the alleged assault took place.

He allegedly grabbed the student, kissed her and whispered, "come upstairs, come upstairs with me my darling," Mr Baker said, adding that the incident ended when another man entered the kitchen.

The alleged victim told the court she was "completely rooted to the spot."

"My head was saying 'move, just move'. I wanted to get away but I couldn't. I could feel his arms around me, he was pressed against me," she added.

The court heard how the woman told a friend about the alleged assault in January 2018 after hearing a radio report about abuse in the church.

They searched for the Rev Overend online and discovered his position at Lincoln Cathedral, taken up in 2017, where he leads work on public theology and Christian education.

Rev Overend denies indecent assault. The trial continues.

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