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Ex-PC ‘punched partner to cause her to miscarry’
10:05am Thursday 30th August 2012 in Crime
A Southampton -based former police officer accused of attacking his pregnant ex-partner said his life would be “easier” if she lost the baby, a court heard.
As reported yesterday , Matthew Cherry, 35, is alleged to have told his flatmate that he could not afford a baby and suggested punching the mother in the stomach to cause her to miscarry.
Cherry, who was working as a police constable for Dorset Police at the time, is accused of punching former girlfriend Caroline Craft repeatedly in the stomach, face and back.
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. She was six months pregnant with his child at the time.
Carla Hutchings, who lived with Cherry and Craft at the time of the offence, told Winchester Crown Court that she had many conversations with Cherry about the baby.
Speaking about one “out of the blue comment”, Miss Hutchings said: “The comment he made was ‘It would just be easier if Caroline would miscarry or if I could punch her in the stomach’.
“I was completely shocked to the point where my jaw just dropped. I was speechless. After I calmed my nerves, I said ‘I am very disappointed in you and I can’t believe you just said that’.”
The court also heard from neighbour Alex Bowness, who said on the morning of the incident he had let a man into the building after he buzzed and said “police” through the intercom.
Mr Bowness said he went to investigate and saw a man huddled over a vacuum cleaner who refused to answer any questions. He told the court he did not see his face but called the police because he’d become suspicious.
Then he described hearing a woman screaming.
“She was just hysterically screaming. It was really loud even from quite a few floors away,” he said.
Mr Bowness said he went to investigate and saw Miss Craft coming out of her flat.
“She was completely covered in blood. It was very shocking. I thought she had been stabbed or something,” he said.
Workman David Short recalled seeing a hooded man carrying a vacuum cleaner towards Norwich Mansions flats and then leaving 30-40 minutes later.
The court had previously heard that Cherry did not want the baby and had tried to convince fellow police officer Miss Craft to have an abortion, but she decided to keep it.
Miss Craft suffered extensive bruising but neither she, nor her unborn baby, were seriously harmed. She went on to have a healthy baby boy.
Cherry, now of Wimpson Lane, Southampton, denies attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
The trial continues.