THE jury has been discharged in the trial of a police constable accused of rape after four members of the panel tested positive for Covid-19.

David Longden-Thurgood, 48, of Waterlooville, was on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of the rape of the woman, a mother aged in her 30s, during a date at her home in October 2020.

On Monday, one juror reported that they had tested positive, leading to him being discharged.

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Then on Tuesday, three further jurors tested positive leading to Judge Robert Bright QC discharging the jury.

He told the jury: “Unfortunately the outcome is that the trial has had to come to an end.

“You have been incredibly patient and committed to the case.”

Longden-Thurgood, who serves with Hampshire Constabulary, denies a single charge of rape.

The prosecution was given 14 days to indicate whether it would be seeking a retrial.

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