A police officer accused of attacking his pregnant ex-girlfriend told a close friend he had only been in the relationship for sex, a court heard today.
PC Paul Perdrisat said fellow PC Matthew Cherry was annoyed Caroline Craft fell pregnant despite being on the pill.
The jury heard Cherry, 35, confided in Mr Perdrisat that he only wanted to have a child in a loving relationship – and he did not love Miss Craft, 27.
That was despite Cherry knowing his girlfriend, also a police constable, had believed it was a serious relationship, Mr Perdrisat said.
Cherry also told his shocked colleague he wanted Miss Craft to have an abortion and asked how he could induce a miscarriage, the court heard.
Just weeks later a man in a balaclava, dark hoodie and gloves burst into Miss Craft’s ground floor flat and carried out a frightening and bloody attack.
Miss Craft – who was six months pregnant – was punched and kicked several times in the back and stomach as she desperately tried to protect her bump.
She was left ‘bloodied and bruised’ and needed hospital treatment but later gave birth to a healthy boy who is now 15 months old.
Her attacker showed ‘no interest’ in valuable items, such as laptops, a television and jewellery, Winchester Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Matthew Jewell said there was ‘compelling’ evidence Cherry had carried out the ‘savage’ attack in Bournemouth, Dorset, on March 24 last year.
Mr Perdrisat, who worked with Cherry at Dorset Police for around six years, said: ‘Matt was not happy with the pregnancy.
‘He did not want a baby in his life at that stage. One of the reasons was that he wanted to bring up a baby in a loving relationship.
‘He did not feel he was in a loving relationship. He was having sex with Caroline but said he did not love her and did not want to settle down. She did. Having a baby was not in his plan – he said it would ruin his life.’
Describing one day when he was on patrol in a police car with Cherry, Mr Perdrisat said: ‘We were talking normal chit chat when there were a couple of seconds silence.
‘He then asked me, and I remember word for word, “Perds, how do I bring on a miscarriage?”.
‘I was shocked. My initial reaction was “You can’t say something like that”. It went quiet and we then carried on the chit chat.’
Cherry told another work mate he felt physically sick for being ‘tricked’ into having a child, the court heard today.
He said news of the pregnancy left him unable to sleep and eat and he had not cried so much since his father was ill.
However, he later told the same colleague – Sgt Colin Neve – that he intended to fight for full custody so he could see his baby’s first steps and smile.
Cherry and Miss Craft’s relationship ‘disintegrated’ when she refused to have an abortion and he moved out of the flat a short while later, selling it to her for £145,000.
Miss Craft had been at home alone and expecting a visit from an estate agent on the morning of the attack, as she hoped to sell it on.
She opened her door shortly after 10am expecting it to be the agent but a masked attacker forced his way in.
The attack only came to an end when the estate agent arrived and rang the intercom to Miss Craft’s flat, causing the attacker to flee.
Prosecutor Mr Jewell said the attacker was ‘forensically aware’ and his escape route indicated he knew the flat well.
Miss Craft’s housemate was on a short holiday in New York at the time of the attack and had written about her break on Facebook, where Cherry could have seen it.
A trainer footprint of a size 10 Nike Dart V was found inside the flat and a box for the same model was later found at Cherry’s new home, the court heard.
Furthermore, a Panasonic vacuum cleaner carried by the attacker was of ‘similar appearance’ to one kept in a communal cupboard at the home of Cherry’s brother.
And Mr Jewell said Cherry had a history of aggression. Cherry and Miss Craft were both officers with Dorset Police and had met in May 2010.
She has told the court she slept with her arms wrapped around her bump and with her back turned to Cherry after he threatened to punch her in the stomach.
And their former housemate said Cherry had told her he had considered hitting Miss Craft. Cherry, now living in Southampton, Hampshire, was arrested on October 12, 2011, and denied the attack.
He said had been nowhere near the address that day. He denies one charge of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.
The trial continues.