The court heard the allegations date back to February 2012 while PC Doherty, a serving officer with Cumbria Police, was attending a course in Warwickshire.

The offences are alleged to have taken place in a hotel room in Stratford.

PC Doherty, aged 41, of Powerful Street, Walney, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, has also been charged with an earlier alleged offence of indecently assault-ing a woman in Cumbria.

Prosecutor Baldev Atwal told the magistrates: “He is a serving police officer in the Cumbria Police. He is currently suspended as a result of these offences.”

Tom Schofield, defending, said that PC Doherty had been a serving police officer for 18 years, and was in the Royal Air Force for six years before that.

Pointing out that the defence case was that the acts were all consensual, he told the magistrates: “The allegations themselves are emphatically denied.”

PC Doherty had been remanded in custody prior to the court hearing and Mr Atwal asked for him to remain in custody.

But applying for bail, Mr Schofield suggested he could be made subject to a number of conditions, including living with his parents in Northern Ireland and signing on at his local police station up to twice a day.

After he and his colleagues had risen to consider the bail application, chairman of the magistrates, Lawrence Thomas, told PC Doherty that his case was being sent to Warwick Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on 15th July.

Granting him bail until then, Mr Thomas imposed conditions that PC Doherty is to live at his parents’ address in Northern Ireland, and to sign on at Coleraine police station on a daily basis.

In addition, he is to surrender his passport and not apply for any travel documents except to attend court or for a pre-arranged meeting with his lawyers.

He is also prohibited from contacting any current or former employees of Cumbria Police except with the consent of his welfare officer or any of the witnesses in the case.