A POLICE officer accused of attacking his pregnant ex-girlfriend had bruises on his knuckles that evening, a court heard yesterday.

Matthew Cherry, 35, is accused of repeatedly punching Caroline Craft in the face, stomach and back in an attempt to harm his unborn baby when she was six months pregnant.

The jury at Winchester Crown Court yesterday heard from Nicola Durrant-Lewis who spoke to Cherry, who lives in Wimpson Lane, Millbrook, Southampton, on the early evening of March 24 last year at a house he was renovating in Parkstone Avenue, Poole.

She said Cherry, who at the time worked for Dorset Police, said he had injured his hands during his renovation work and showed her his “war wounds”.

“At that time he had injured his hands by scraping tiles in the back bathroom with a chisel. He said he had been using the chisel and had accidentally hit it with a hammer.

“There was some bruising on his hands on a couple of his knuckles.”

During cross examination Miss Durrant-Lewis told the court she had spoken to Cherry about the baby and he had got his “head around” becoming a father.

“I never sensed any aggression from Matt.”

The prosecution claim he forced his way into her flat at Norwich Mansions, Bournemouth, on March 24 last year wearing a balaclava, hoodie and gloves.

It is alleged Cherry went to and from the scene carrying a vacuum cleaner. CCTV showed two figures at different times carrying a vacuum cleaner.

The jury have heard from an expert witness who concluded there was “moderate support” for the two figures being the same man, and “limited support” for that man being Cherry.

The court also heard from forensic scientist David Joyce who examined partial footprints found at the scene and said they were consistent with having been left by a size 10 Nike Dark V trainer.

No such shoes were found at Cherry’s home but police did recover a Nike box which originally contained an identical pair of shoes, the court heard.
Cherry denies attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.