TWO Ross-shire police officers have pled not guilty to abducting two teenage girls and forcing them to stand shoeless in manure.
PC Robert Ovenstone (31) and PC Stuart Kelman (29), who are both suspended from duty with Northern Constabulary, tendered their pleas at Tain Sheriff Court.
The two officers have been charged with abducting the 15-year-old girls on July 19 last year and taking them to a barn at Balintraid Farm near Invergordon in a police car.
The charge alleges that the girls were compelled to stand in animal manure and made to walk down a farm track in their stocking soles.
Ovenstone and Kelman have also been charged with behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, likely to cause the two girls fear in the barn, by telling them that they had previously taken a person to the barn and that that person had lost three teeth against a wall.
The charge alleges that the officers told the girls if they did not behave themselves, they would suffer the same fate and threatened the girls that they would have to walk home in the hours of darkness in their stocking soles.
Ovenstone has also been charged that on the same day he behaved in an abusive manner by threatening to hit a 13-year-old boy with a baton.
Ovenstone and Kelman deny all the charges.
At the court on Thursday, Sheriff Richard McFarlane continued the case for an intermediate hearing on September 24, with a trial on October 19.
Neither officer was present in court and the pleas were tendered by letter and through a solicitor.