A TAXI driver who is accused of picking up two young women and raping them in his car has appeared in court.

Ruhen Miah, of Charter Road, Newbury was charged with two counts of rape on March 6 and he was put before magistrates later the same day.

The charges relate to two offences on January 20 and February 24, where two women were raped in the town.

Miah, 42, did not enter a plea on Tuesday and will appear at Reading Crown Court on April 10 after being remanded in custody.

Claire Barclay, prosecuting at the magistrates court, said: "This matter must go straight to crown court and there is no bail application."

A 40-year-old man who was also arrested in connection with the two incidents has been released under police investigation.

In the first incident, the victim was raped after she left The Vault nightclub in Kennet Shopping Centre on the evening of January 19.

On February 24, a 29-year-old woman left the Coopers Arms in Bartholomew Street in the early hours.

She was driven to an unknown property where she too was sexually assaulted.

District judge Sophie Toms added: "This case is so serious that it can only be dealt with at the crown court.

"You will be sent to Reading Crown Court to appear on April 10 and until then you will be remanded in custody."