Sep 7 2012
A former police constable jailed for 10 years after repeatedly punching his pregnant ex-girlfriend in the stomach to try to bring on a miscarriage is "callous, cold-hearted and utterly selfish", his victim has said.
Matthew Cherry, 35, used a balaclava and a fake foreign accent to launch the "savage attack" in Caroline Craft's ground-floor flat in Bournemouth, Dorset.
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 called Archie - 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 wept and nearly fainted when the jury delivered the unanimous verdict and he kept repeating "I didn't do it" as he was jailed. But in a statement Miss Craft said she had no sympathy.
"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," she said.
"I thank God that despite Matthew Cherry's efforts, my beautiful son Archie was born healthy and unharmed by his actions. When I look at him I cannot imagine my life without him. I cannot dare to think how the outcome might have been different if Matthew Cherry had succeeded that day."
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.
Jailing him, the Recorder of Winchester, Judge Keith Cutler, said: "It was a pernicious and evil attack. On your part there was a high degree of planning. It was clear that you used your skills and training as a police officer to ensure your phone was left to give yourself an alibi and you masked your appearance."
He told Cherry he had now lost his career, his future and his liberty by his "appalling" actions.