Councillor in court on sex charges

Dorset Echo: Ryan Hope Ryan Hope

A WEYMOUTH councillor has appeared in court charged with a number of sex offences.

Ryan Dean Hope, 22, of Norfolk Road, appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court ahead of a trial planned for April 28 next year.

He has pleaded not guilty to one count of raping a child, one count of rape, one of sexual assault of a child and two counts of sexual assault.

Hope, represented by Mark Ruffell, spoke only to confirm his name.

The allegations span a period between October 17, 2005, and December 31, 2012, and relate to a single victim who is now 17 years old.

The councillor, a Liberal Democrat who represents the Westham North ward on Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, wore a suit and tie to the court.

Rob Griffiths appeared for the prosecution.

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