A MAN who kicked and punched his pregnant girlfriend outside Poole Maternity Hospital was spared jail on Tuesday.

Robert Moorman, found guilty of assault after trial, was given a 12 week term suspended for two years with a supervision requirement, and was ordered to attend the Poole Building Better Relationships course.

Prosecutor Lee Turner told Bournemouth Magistrates Court that on October 17 last year 21-year-old Moorman had accompanied his girlfriend to the hospital where she was due for a pre-natal interview.

He said staff noted she seemed “terrified” and that her phone was ringing so frequently she removed the batteries. They kept an eye on her as she left with Moorman and saw him try to snatch her medical notes, but she resisted.

“He then threw her to the ground. While she was on the ground Mr Moorman was witnessed to punch and kick her several times,” said Mr Turner.

“She manages to get away, and as she walks away he catches up with her and they walk off.”

He said one member of hospital staff was so shocked by what they had seen they drove around the area searching for the couple.

In mitigation, Sean Waters said Moorman and his girlfriend were still in a relationship and were living together, and that he still denied the offence took place.

She spoke in his defence during the trial last month, saying the incident “was her fault” because she lost her balance.

Mr Waters said Moorman, who has no previous convictions for violence in relationships, nevertheless felt attending the domestic violence course in Poole would be “positive for him and their relationship”.

“He had problems with his education, issues with control, he was taken into care at an early age,” he said.

“Perhaps this caused him difficulties dealing with the stress and difficulties of his relationship.”

He said Moorman was on benefits but had recently been offered work in a kitchen.

Moorman, of Bournemouth Road, Poole, was also ordered to pay costs of £110 and a victim surcharge of £80. Magistrates said a compensation order would be inappropriate as the couple were reconciled.