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Christchurch man Matthew Burke attacked woman in Boscombe before kidnapping three-year-old

A WOMAN was brutally attacked before her child was kidnapped from the pushchair she was wheeling.

Matthew Burke (41) of Everest Road, Christchurch, set about the woman as she was walking at around 6.45am on 3rd July, along Sea Road, Boscombe.

Prosecutor Fern Russell told Bournemouth Crown Court that Burke, who was known to the woman, “came out of the bushes” before trying to grab the three-year-old.

Matthew Burke was jailed for three years and six months
Matthew Burke was jailed for three years and six months

She said that as the woman struggled to stop him “the pushchair almost toppled over into the middle of the road”.

The defendant managed to get the child out and put her down on the pavement before “delivering a blow” to the woman, and dragging her into the road by her hair.

He then rode off with the child on a bicycle. When police caught him he kicked one of the officers and told them he had taken the youngster to keep them “safe”.

On 18th August, while on bail for the assault and kidnap, Burke attacked the woman again when her car was stopped at red lights on Castle Lane, Bournemouth.

Ms Russell said the victim “felt something bad was going to happen” when she spotted the defendant in a car alongside her.

He came to her vehicle and tried to pull out the three-year-old he had previously kidnapped.

As she tried to stop him, he shouted at her: “You’re dead and I’m going to kill you.”

He then grabbed her phone and threw it across the road.

Burke, who has Tourette syndrome, was later arrested. He pleaded guilty to two offences of kidnap, two counts of breaching a non-molestation order and battery of an emergency worker.

A charge of ABH was ordered to lie on file.

Ms Russell said the victim was “simply too terrified to come to court” to give a victim impact statement.

Instead it was read out to the court. In it she told how Burke had made her life “absolute hell”.

She also said she was scared he would try to take the child again adding: “I am really terrified of him, I am frightened that he was genuinely trying to kill me.

“I will always be looking over my shoulder waiting for him to come for me.”

Defending, Kevin Hill said Burke had suffered a mental breakdown.

He said that Burke accepted that what he had done was “wrong and entirely unjustified”.

Mr Hill added: “He has huge remorse for what happened.”

Jailing Burke for three years six months, of which he will serve half, Judge Donald Tate told him: “You must understand that offences of this nature are considered very serious.”

He said that a pre-sentence report stated that Burke’s “continued obsession” meant there was a high risk of him reoffending.

The judge added that he hoped Burke was “ashamed” the effect of his actions had had on the child.

Along with being jailed, Burke was handed a restraining order against the woman “without limit of time”.

Detective Sergeant Marles, of Bournemouth CID, said: “We are committed to supporting victims of violent offences and those that are unable to defend themselves, such as those perpetrated against this victim by Matthew Burke.

“We are dedicated to ensuring offenders are held responsible for their actions.”

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