A man is accused of physically and sexually abusing a number of children, including locking one in a coffin.

Brian McKernan, 64, faced the allegations during a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

The charges span between 1973 and 1980 at addresses in Edinburgh, including in the capital's Wester Hailes.

One allegation claims McKernan did force a teenage girl into a van and hit her on the head and body.

It further states he did then “lock her in a coffin” and “detain her there against her will”.

A separate charge alleges he helped assault another girl “with intent to procure the miscarriage” of a child she was carrying.

The same girl is also said to have had her hands burnt on a fire, hit with a whip and her head held under a basin of water.

McKernan further faces charges of lewd and libidinous behaviour towards children.

Frances Forsyth, 79, joined him in the dock for the hearing.

She is accused of neglecting children and that she knew McKernan was harming them.

It is claimed Forsyth did “instruct” him to “assault them”.

She is accused of making youngsters eat dog food and made one boy live outside in a tent.

The pair deny the charges.

Judge Johanna Johnston QC set a trial due to begin in September.