Watts, aged 48, of Hodgson Road, Stratford, also denied assaulting her, causing her actual bodily harm, and attempting to rape her.

He also pleaded not guilty to falsely imprisoning his alleged victim by trapping her in his works van against her will.

At an earlier hearing, the court was told it is alleged that Watts picked up the woman in Coventry before assaulting and raping her and then dumping her at the side of the road on the A46 near Stratford.

But at that hearing his barrister said: “The defence he would raise in this matter is one of consent.”

After Watts had entered his not guilty pleas, Michelle Heeley, prosecuting, said his trial was expected to last up to five days and that it had not been possible to find a court date.

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones adjourned the case for trial and for a further hearing to take place in September, and remanded Watts in custody.