Police officer carried out "savage" attack on ex-partner carrying his child, court told (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Police officer carried out "savage" attack on ex-partner carrying his child, court told
A DORSET Police officer carried out a “savage” attack on his pregnant ex-partner in an attempt to harm their unborn baby, a court heard yesterday.
Matthew Cherry, 35, is accused of attacking fellow police officer Caroline Craft at her flat in Norwich Mansions, Bourne-mouth, on March 24 last year by punching and kicking her to the face and stomach.
Prosecutor Matthew Jewell told Winchester Crown Court that Miss Craft, who was six months pregnant, was waiting for an estate agent to visit her ground floor flat when she heard someone hoovering in the communal area, followed by a knock on the door.
“She opened the door, which was then pushed violently from outside and she was pushed or punched to the floor.
“She was then attacked with multiple punches to her stomach and back in a way which targeted her unborn child.
“She shouted for help and a gloved hand was placed over her mouth. She was also kicked.”
Mr Jewell said the attacker, who was wearing a dark hoodie, balaclava and gloves, fled when the buzzer to the flat sounded.
Miss Craft suffered extensive bruising but neither she, nor her unborn baby, were seriously harmed.
Mr Jewell told the court that Cherry had got together with Miss Craft in May 2010 and five months later she discovered she was pregnant.
He said: “The defendant made it clear he did not want the baby and that he wanted Caroline to have the pregnancy terminated.”
Mr Jewell said when Miss Craft decided to keep the baby, their relationship “disintegrated completely”.
Cherry moved out of the flat in November 2010.
Cherry was still “unhappy and angry” about the pregnancy and had told Miss Craft he had contemplated punching her in the stomach so that she would lose the baby.
He also asked a colleague how he could bring on a miscarriage, the court was told.
Mr Jewell said footprint impressions left by a size 10 Nike Dart V trainer were discovered at the scene and when police searched Cherry’s home they found a Nike box which had originally contained identical trainers.
A video interview was played to the court in which Miss Craft, who at the time was working at Boscombe police station, described the attack.
She said she got into a foetal position as her attacker punched her 20 to 30 times.
“I thought he was going to kill me.
“It was a frenzied attack, just as many punches as he could get in.
“I don’t remember it hurting at the time, all I remember was that I needed to protect the baby.”
During her interview Miss Craft said Cherry didn’t want the baby for financial reasons and recalled a time when Cherry had said to her: ‘I hope the baby dies’.
But when asked whether her attacker was Cherry, Miss Craft said: “I would have recognised his voice. It definitely wasn’t Matt.”
Cherry, now of Wimpson Lane, Southampton, denies attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
The trial continues.