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.

Monday, 18th July 2016, 2:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2016, 8:59 am
Neil Coulson and Joanne Evans

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.

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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.