TWO police officers have appeared in court after being charged over the way they handled child abuse cases.

Det Con Sharon Patterson and former Det Con Lee Pollard are both facing three counts of wilfully misconducting themselves while in a position of public officer.

The charges relate to when they were both working in the North Child Abuse Investigation Team (NCAIT).

During a short hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates Court this morning, Patteron and Pollard, both of Littlefield Road, Colchester, were told the charges were so serious they could only be heard at a crown court.

Patterson, 48, is accused of falsely representing evidence in 2012, creating a false form in an attempt to make supervisors think the Crown Prosecution Service had taken a no further action decision against an accused in 2012 and creating a false statement from a witness between December 2013 and January 2014.

Pollard, 46, is accused of destroying four photographs which may have been used as evidence in 2013, falsely representing a suspect’s interview in 2014 and falsifying a no further action document from the CPS in 2014.

Neither entered a plea.

Both were given unconditional bail until a plea hearing on April 6 at Chelmsford Crown Court but it is likely any future trial will not be held in Essex.