A MAN has appeared in court and denied raping a young woman.

Sultan Mohammed is accused of sexually attacking the woman inside a property in Annan Road, Colchester.

The alleged rape is said to have taken place at 6am with Mohammed said to have trespassed into the house before carrying out the attack on Wednesday, October 3.

He was then arrested by police two days later.

During a plea and trial preparation at Ipswich Crown Court, the 24-year-old spoke only to confirm his not guilty plea, his age and the fact he was a Ghanaian national.

After making the accusation, the victim was safeguarded and supported by specialist officers from Essex Police.

Following the plea Judge John Devaux listed a trial which is due to begin on April 8 next year back at the same court.

The trial is scheduled to last five days and will involve a number of witnesses giving evidence and CCTV footage being shown to a jury.

Mohammed, of Almond Way, Colchester, appeared at court via video link where he has been remanded in custody since he was arrested and charged in September.

He will remain in custody until the trial next year.

At the end of the short hearing, Judge Devaux warned Mohammed to co-operate with his legal team in the run up to the trial.

He said: “I must warn the defendant failing to provide a sufficiently detailed defence case statement will count against him.

“That is a document which should be provided to the prosecution and setting out the terms of the defence.

“Failing to attend court in itself is a separate offence.

“If the defendant fails to attend court then the trial may go ahead in his absence no matter whether the legal team want it to or not.

“Failing to attend could mean refusing to leave the cell or failing to get on the bus from prison.”

Judge Devaux decided there was no need to hold a further case management hearing so the next time Mohammed will appear in court will be for the trial.