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, Hampshire, was on trial at Winchester Crown Court accused of the rape of a 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.

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.