A Hindu priest facing assault and sex offence charges will appear in court again later this month before a trial is expected in the new year.

Gurudev Rajesh Parmar, a well-known founder of Hindu temple the Siddhashram Shakti Centre, in Palmerston Road, Wealdstone, appeared at Harrow Crown Court for a brief preliminary hearing yesterday.

The 42-year-old, of Headstone Drive, is facing one count of assault causing actual bodily harm, another of conspiring to commit sexual offences and one of perverting the cause of justice.

He will appear at Harrow Crown Court again on December 13, before a trial in the new year.

The community leader has ties with a number of Harrow politicians and charitable organisations in the area.

**UPDATED: February 19, 2014: All charges, which Mr Parmar denied, were dropped in December after the prosecution failed to offer any evidence and the defendant did not face trial. To read the full story, click here