A SUSPECT has appeared in court following the alleged rape of a young man near a County Durham park over the weekend.

The attack is believed to have happened at around 3am on Saturday at the recreation ground in Perkinsville, near Chester-le-Street.

Christopher Peart, 21, of Stonethwaite Close, Hartlepool, appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

He was charged with one count of rape of a man and one count of sexual assault on a teenage girl.

The second charge relates to a separate incident that is believed to have happened earlier on in the night.

Peart was remanded in custody ahead of an appearance at Durham Crown Court on October 2.