A police officer has appeared in court to deny a charge of wilful misconduct in a public office.

PC Neal Murray, 46, of Cleveland Police, appeared at Teesside Crown Court where he pleaded not guilty to the charge, which relates to an allegation he made a false witness statement in the name of a woman, in 2020.

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A hand-writing expert may be called as a witness at the trial, which is scheduled to last four days, the court heard.

Murray was granted bail ahead of his trial which is due to start on August 27 next year.

Regarding the trial date, Judge Timothy Stead told the defendant: “I am afraid we cannot do better than that.”