Hartlepool couple deny rape charge during first appearance before crown court judge
A couple accused of raping a woman have pleaded not guilty in their first appearance before a crown court judge.
Joanne Evans and Neil Coulson appeared before Teesside Crown Court for a short preliminary hearing.
Coulson, 37, and Evans, 36, both pleaded not guilty to a single charge of rape.
The court heard Coulson is accused of having sex with the alleged victim and Evans is accused of ‘aiding and abetting’ him.
Stephen Constantine, defending, said defence witnesses will include toxicology and other experts.
No firm trial date was set, but the court was told the case is likely to go before a jury in February next year.
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton released Coulson and Evans on bail on the condition they return to court when called upon to do so.