A man accused of stabbing a pregnant woman four times in her neck and upper body was not present at his court hearing today after he was judged unfit to attend.

Labourer Shahid Mahmood, 25, is charged with attempted murder after the 23-year-old woman was found at a property in Crawley, West Sussex, with serious injuries last month.

Emergency services were called to a house in The Parade, Northgate, in the early hours of May 26 where they found the woman, who was believed to be six months pregnant at the time, Sussex Police said.

The woman was treated at the house and after assessment at East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, she was transferred to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, where she underwent an operation, police said.

She has since been released from hospital, Lewes Crown Court was told today, and her pregnancy was unaffected by the injuries.

Mahmood, of The Parade, Northgate, was remanded in custody and the case was adjourned for a plea and case management hearing on August 3