1. ITV Report

Ex policeman jailed for attacking pregnant girlfriend

Matthew Cherry attacked his pregnant girlfriend Photo: Dorset Police

A former police constable who repeatedly punched his pregnant ex-girlfriend to try to bring on a miscarriage has been jailed for ten years.

Matthew Cherry, 35, used a balaclava and a fake foreign accent to launch the "savage attack" at Caroline Craft's ground-floor flat in Bournemouth.

He punched her in the stomach and back, targeting her unborn child and leaving her "bloodied and bruised", but she was not seriously harmed and gave birth to a boy - now 15 months old.

Cherry was angry and upset that Miss Craft, 27, also a police officer, would not have an abortion and the pair split up, Winchester Crown Court heard during the eight-day trial.

Cherry, now living in Southampton, denied attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent in March last year in the "well-planned" attack.

But the jury convicted him, rejecting his claim that he was not the attacker and was several miles away renovating a house.

Miss Craft was six months pregnant when she answered the door to a masked attacker on March 24, thinking it was an estate agent come to view her flat.

Matthew Jewell, prosecuting, said: "Caroline Craft then heard a knock on the door of her flat.

She opened the door, which was then pushed violently from outside, and she was either pushed or punched to the floor.

"She was then attacked with multiple punches to her stomach and back, in a waywhich targeted her unborn child.

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

The attack only ended because the estate agent turned up and Cherry fled, using a back door as he knew the block well and had owned the flat before selling it to Miss Craft.

After sentencing Speaking after the verdict Caroline Craft said: “The past 18 months have been a living hell.

"The actions of Matthew Cherry on that day were callous, cold-hearted and utterly selfish.

"I will never forgive him for what he did to me and what he so nearly could have done to my baby.

“I thank God that despite Matthew Cherry’s efforts, my beautiful son, Archie, was born healthy and unharmed by his actions.

“This verdict has given me some closure and I can now hopefully start to move on with my life and build a future for me and my son.

“I wish to thank the Police and my family and friends for their continued support throughout.”