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Ex is charged over lost baby attack

Published 18/06/2015

Police are investigating an attack in Peckham, south-east London, which caused a pregnant woman to lose her baby
Police are investigating an attack in Peckham, south-east London, which caused a pregnant woman to lose her baby

The ex-boyfriend of a heavily pregnant woman who lost her baby after a "sickening" attack in the street has appeared in court charged with child destruction.

Kevin Wilson, 21, was remanded in custody when he appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court in London accused of repeatedly kicking Malorie Bantala in the stomach.

Miss Bantala, 21, who was eight months' pregnant, was attacked by two men wearing motorcycle helmets near her home in Peckham, south east London, on Monday night.

Wilson appeared in custody charged with child destruction and grievous bodily harm with intent.

The accused, identified by Miss Bantala as the father of her unborn child, looked around the courtroom as he entered the dock.

Wearing a grey tracksuit and flanked by two security officers, he replied "yes" three times as he was asked by the court clerk to confirm his name, address date of birth.

His father, two brothers, and a number of his cousins and friends packed the public gallery.

In the first count, Wilson, of the Longfield Estate, Bermondsey, south east London, is charged with "intent to destroy the life of a child capable of being born alive, by a wilful act, namely kicking and stamping on the stomach of the 32-week pregnant mother, causing the child to die before it had any existence independent of its mother".

In the second count, Wilson is charged with "unlawfully and maliciously" causing grievous bodily harm to Miss Bantala with intent.

Scotland Yard described the attack on Miss Bantala as "abhorrent and vile".

Chief Inspector Robert Pack, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "It is sickening to think someone would deliberately target a pregnant woman in this way."

Chairman of the bench Tim Cohen remanded Wilson in custody ahead of the next hearing at Woolwich Crown Court in London on July 2.

Miss Bantala remains in a critical condition in hospital after suffering internal bleeding.

London Ambulance Service has apologised after admitting police were forced to take her to hospital themselves when, after an hour and 10 minutes of waiting, an ambulance had still not arrived.

A spokeswoman said the first 999 call from a member of the public was assessed to be a "lower priority call" - or a category C call.

A number of people heard screams and witnessed the attack outside a converted pub and rushed to the woman's aid after the men fled.

Officers gave first aid at the scene before she was taken to hospital.

Mr Pack said Miss Bantala had managed to provide an account of the attack to officers.

A motorcycle has not been recovered by police and it was possible the attackers were wearing helmets as a disguise, he said.

Police are still appealing for witnesses and information on the suspects.

Mr Pack added: "I have absolutely no doubt that someone out there has either heard something, or overheard something, or had someone confide in them."

Wilson, who works as a teaching assistant, was arrested the day after the attack on Miss Bantala.

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