A Hartlepool couple have appeared in court after being jointly charged with the rape of a woman in a rare case.
Neil Coulson, 37, and Joanne Evans, 35, are accused of having sex with the alleged victim without her consent.
Coulson and Evans, both of Dodsworth Walk, Hartlepool, attended Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court for their first appearance.
The allegation was not formally put to them but they indicated through their solicitor that they will be pleading not guilty.
Allegations of rape can only be dealt with at the crown court.
Magistrates sent the case to Teesside Crown Court where the defendants are due to appear on Monday, July 18.
They were both granted bail by the bench.