PC Accused Of Punching Ex-Girlfriend

A former 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, is alleged to have barged his way into Caroline Craft's flat in Bournemouth, wearing a balaclava and hooded top, to carry out the attack and try to force a miscarriage.

Cherry, who worked for the police at the time, was angry, aggressive and desperate for Miss Craft to have an abortion, Winchester Crown Court heard. he pair split up after she decided not to have a termination. Miss Craft was six months' pregnant when she was attacked.

Cherry, from Parkstone in Poole, Dorset, denies attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent and said he was not the attacker.

Matthew Jewell, prosecuting, said Miss Craft, 27, also a Dorset Police officer, was in her ground-floor flat at around 10am on March 24 last year waiting for an estate agent to call.

In the meantime, the barrister said, a man the prosecution claim was Cherry got into the block by buzzing an intercom of another flat and saying ''police''. Cherry then pretended to be a cleaner using a vacuum cleaner, in what was a planned attack by someone ''forensically aware'', Mr Jewell said.

During the attack the doorbell rang as estate agent Paul Penny turned up. The attacker fled, the jury was told, using a back door - because he knew the layout of the building.

Mr Jewell said: ''He (Mr Penny) saw Caroline bloodied and bruised. She was taken to hospital and although she had extensive bruising and some scratches, she was not seriously harmed. Equally fortunately, her unborn baby was unharmed.''

When arrested Cherry said he had not attacked Miss Craft and was at a house he was renovating in nearby Poole when it happened.

Miss Craft gave birth to a boy last year.