FOURTEEN men and a 17-year-old youth who are accused of child sex offences have pleaded not guilty to the charges and will face trial later this year.

The 15 people - most of them from Keighley - appeared today before the Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, for a plea and case management hearing at Bradford Crown Court.

All 15 entered not guilty pleas to the charges.

There was heightened security in the court as the hearing took place. At a previous hearing, a protest took place outside the court but today there were no protestors.

It was confirmed today that the trial will be heard at Bradford Crown Court on November 9 this year. The trial is expected to last six weeks.

Of the 15 defendants, all but one face rape charges.

Khalid Mahmood, 34, whose address has previously been given as Ashfield Prison, South Gloucestershire, pleaded not guilty to five allegations of rape.

Yasser Kabir, 24, of Belgrave Road, Keighley, and Tauqueer Hussain, 23, of Belgrave Road, Keighley, deny four allegations of rape, while Nazir Khan, 23, of Buxton Street, Keighley, has pleaded not guilty to three allegations of rape.

Israr Ali, 19, of Devonshire Street West, Keighley; Mohammed Sardar, 18, of Bradford Street, Lawkholme, Keighley; Saqib Younis, 29, of Bradford Street, Lawkholme, Keighley; Bilal Ziarab, 20, of Sedgwick Close, Manningham, Bradford; Sufyan Ziarab, 22, of Kendal Mellor Court, Keighley; Zain Ali, 20, of Buxton Street, Keighley, and Faisal Khan, 27, of Buxton Street, Keighley, all pleaded not guilty to two allegations of rape. Rohail Iqbal, 21, of Skipton Road, Beechcliffe, Keighley; Rohail Hussain, 18, of Hawk Street, Lawkholme, Keighley, and the 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have pleaded not guilty to one allegation of rape.

Taxi driver Mohammed Akram, 62, of Holker Street, Keighley, has previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual activity with a child under 16.

The offences are alleged to have occurred between May, 2011 and June 2012.

The majority of the allegations relate to one female victim, who was aged between 13 and 14 at the time.

One charge relates to a second victim, who was 15 at the time of the alleged offence between January and May 2009.

Mahmood and Kabir were remanded back into custody.

The other defendants were granted conditional bail.

The investigation into the alleged offences was led by Detective Superintendent Chris Walker, of West Yorkshire Police's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team.