A BOURNEMOUTH University student has appeared in court charged with rape.

Emmanuel Mutandi, of Walnut Walk, Kempston in Bedfordshire, is alleged to have committed the offence in the grounds of St Clements Church, Boscombe on Saturday, August 2.

He is also accused of wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent in connection with the incident.

Police were called to the churchyard at 5.30am after receiving reports of an alleged attack.

Officers cordoned off a section of the grounds.

The defendant, 22, appeared before Judge Peter Johnson at Bournemouth Crown Court this morning for a preliminary hearing.

He has not yet entered a plea to either of the charges, and spoke only to confirm his name.

Mutandi, who is originally from Zimbabwe and arrived in the UK at the age of nine, is in the second year of a degree at the town’s university.

He will appear before the court again for a plea and case management hearing on November 7, and a trial date has been set for February next year.

Police have called for anyone with information about the incident to contact them in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 2:87.

Alternatively, you can call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111, where mobile phone tariffs may apply.