Man is to face court on rape allegation

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A man is due to appear in court after being accused of raping a woman at a residential home in the Whitby area.

John Martin Heslehurst (43) of Elm Grove, Whitby, is alleged to have attacked the woman on 1 October last year.

He is charged with one count of rape under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. He first appeared at York Magistrates’ Court, where the case was referred to York Crown Court.

In a preliminary hearing at the crown court, Heslehurst appeared via video link.

Heslehurst did not enter a plea at the hearing and was remanded in custody to re-appear before the court on 7 June when a plea and case management hearing will be held.

A trial date has been listed for August 5. A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said it was unable to comment on the case, but issued a statement saying: “Anyone who has been subjected to any from of sexual abuse should not hesitate to contact us.

“We have specially trained officers in dedicated units across the force.”

The Care Quality Commission confirmed it was aware of the case.