THREE people have denied charges of abducting, assaulting and robbing a woman at a flat in Dalmuir.

Mhairi O’Connell, 35, Chantelle Elliot, 31, and 36-year-old Thomas Melvin are charged with a string of offences, including detaining the woman against her will and repeatedly hitting her on the head with a gas canister at Park Court last summer.

Solicitors entered not guilty pleas on their behalf during a hearing at Dumbarton Sheriff Court.

The charge against the trio alleges that they entered the Park Court flat uninvited on June 18 last year, prevented the woman from leaving the property, entered the property uninvited, repeatedly shouted and swore and threatened her with violence, and demanded that she give them the PIN for her bank account.

Prosecutors also claim that they injured the same woman by repeatedly striking her on the head with a gas canister.

It’s further alleged that the trio told the woman not to call police, and robbed her of a wallet, bank card, mobile phone, a pair of shoes, a gas canister, around £80 in cash and a quantity of juice.

Ms Elliot and Ms O’Connell are also accused of behaving threateningly or abusively towards the same woman and a second woman at Park Court the day before the alleged abduction by repeatedly shouting, swearing, and threatening them with violence.

Ms O'Connell and Mr Melvin appeared in person at the hearing, but Ms Elliot was not present.

Ms Elliot's solicitor, Judith Reid, told the court that her client had told her she had symptoms of Covid.

Defence and prosecution lawyers both said they were ready for the case to go to a trial – but the court heard that no date could be fixed for the trial, because there are no facilities yet to hold trials at Dumbarton Sheriff Court where there is more than one accused person while adhering to the rules on social distancing.

Sheriff William Gallacher continued the case until a further procedural hearing in March, and granted an application for Ms O’Connell to be released on bail to an address in Clyde Court until then.

Ms Elliot, of Granville Street in Clydebank, and Mr Melvin, of Cranloch Court in Alexandria, had their bail continued until the next hearing.

Referring to Ms Elliot’s non-appearance, the sheriff added: “I expect her to be here [in March], and I will not tolerate her absence on that occasion.”