A POLICE constable has denied an accusation of sexual behaviour towards a schoolgirl in South Ayrshire while the teenager was in his care.

John Ross Stewart faces a a charge of engaging in sexual activity with, or directed to, the girl, now aged 17, between April 1 and September 29 last year, when he was in a position of trust.

The 40-year-old police constable, whose address is listed as Police Scotland's professional standards department in French Street, Glasgow, is pleading not guilty to the allegation.

The charge accuses him of repeatedly having 'play-fights’ with the girl and claims that he seized her by the neck and body at a secondary school in South Ayrshire.

The Crown's complaint also alleges that Constable Stewart repeatedly uttered sexualised comments towards the girl and claims he repeatedly touched her on her buttocks.

A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf when the case called at Ayr Sheriff Court on Wednesday, February 21.

Dates were set for an 'intermediate diet' hearing and a trial, and Constable Stewart was ordained to appear in court later this year.