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MI5 officer denies beating and sexually assaulting colleague

Officer accused of harassing and attacking female colleague between August and December 2011

An MI5 officer today denied beating and sexually assaulting a colleague and will stand trial under a false name in June next year.

The officer, who has been charged under the pseudonym of Mark Barton, is accused of harassing and attacking the female colleague between August and December last year.

Barton, 28, was screened from reporters inside a court by the frosted window of the glass dock and a temporary screen to hide his identity. He could only be seen by the two legal teams and Judge Alistair McCreath at Southwark Crown Court in central London.

Barton is accused of two counts of assault, one of sexual assault and one count of harassment against the woman, known only as 2363. Witnesses from the domestic security service who give evidence will be known by similar numbers and possibly first names when Barton goes on trial in June next year.

Barton spoke only to deny the charges during the 30-minute hearing at Southwark Crown court in central London. He has been granted anonymity because of concerns for his personal safety. The 12 members of the jury, however, will be able to see him and all the witnesses during the anticipated week-long trial.