Dorset

PC Matthew Cherry 'punched pregnant ex in stomach'

A Dorset Police officer repeatedly punched his pregnant ex-girlfriend in the stomach because he did not want her to have his baby, a court has heard.

Matthew Cherry, 35, of Parkstone, Poole, is accused of attacking Caroline Craft, while wearing a balaclava, at her flat in Bournemouth.

He was desperate for Miss Craft, also a Dorset Police officer, to have an abortion, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Cherry says he was not the attacker and denies attempted GBH with intent.

After the attack, Miss Craft was taken to hospital with extensive bruising, but neither she nor her unborn baby were seriously harmed.

'Multiple punches'

As well as the attempted grievous bodily harm charge, Mr Cherry is also alleged to have told Miss Craft, 27, he had thought about punching her in the stomach so she would lose her baby.

Prosecutor Matthew Jewell said Miss Craft, then six months pregnant, had been waiting for an estate agent to arrive at her flat when she was attacked by Mr Cherry on 24 March last year.

He told jurors the defendant had gained access to the block by buzzing an intercom of another flat and saying "police".

Once inside, Mr Cherry pretended to be a cleaner, jurors were told.

Mr Jewell said Miss Craft had been pushed to the floor after answering a knock at the door.

"She was then attacked with multiple punches to her stomach and back, in a way which targeted her unborn child," Mr Jewell said.

Estate agent arrived

"She shouted for help and a gloved hand was placed over her mouth. She was also kicked."

Mr Jewell said the victim had pointed out valuable items to her attacker, who showed no interest, before she was dragged to her bathroom, forced to sit on the toilet and threatened with being tied up.

But then the doorbell rang as her estate agent arrived.

The attacker fled out of a back door because he knew the layout of the building, Mr Jewell said.

Jurors heard the pair met in May 2010 but split up after Miss Craft, who found out she was pregnant in October 2010, decided not to have a termination. She later gave birth to a boy.

The trial continues.

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