A LICENSED taxi driver has appeared in court accused of raping a woman.

Ajmal Hazraty, 37, appeared in court on Saturday accused of rape at an address in Worthing on December 21.

The taxi driver, previously of Haven Way, Newhaven, was wearing a maroon Fred Perry shirt in the dock.

He spoke only to confirm his identity and to state he was a British citizen.

Aphra Bruce-Jones, defending, entered a not guilty plea on behalf of her client to two offences of raping the 31-year-old woman at her flat.

In proceedings lasting 50 minutes, presiding magistrate Janet Courtney set the next hearing date for January 31 at Lewes Crown Court.

She remanded Hazraty in custody until the trial date.

The charge, authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service, follows an investigation by detectives from the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit.

Officers are investigating an incident in which it is alleged a woman was raped at her home by a taxi driver who had given her a lift home.

She got into the cab in Western Road, near the junction with Queen’s Square, Brighton.

She was then taken to her home in Worthing where it is alleged that the driver raped her.

The victim cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Detective Inspector Steve Cobbett, of the safeguarding investigations unit, said: “This is a highly distressing incident and the victim has been seen and supported by specially trained officers from our safeguarding investigations unit.”