A professional footballer has appeared in court to deny a charge of sexual assault.
Sunderland winger Jack Diamond was also charged with rape but was not asked to enter a plea to that offence when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
The alleged sexual assault was said to have taken place in May 2022.
When the charge was put to the 23-year-old by the clerk, he replied “Not guilty” in a clear voice.
Diamond, from Fatfield, Washington, Tyne and Wear, was granted bail following the 30-minute hearing.
The player was on loan with Lincoln City last season but the deal was terminated after he was charged, and Sunderland suspended him.