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Man ‘pushed 10-year-old boy off cliff after he tried to stop him raping girl under 13’

Anthony Stocks is on trial accused of attempted murder and raping a girl under 13 (Picture: Hyde News and Pictures)

A paedophile tried to kill a 10-year-old boy who stood up to him for abusing his sister, a court has heard.

Anthony Stocks, 54, is alleged to have thrown the child 100ft from a cliff top in Brighton in a bid to ‘get him out of the way’, Oxford Crown Court.

He is believed to have taken the child from London without his mum knowing in September 2022.

Witnesses heard a shriek then saw a small shape fall onto the concrete walkway below.

Prosecutor Zoe Johnson said: ‘Miraculously he did not die, but was very seriously injured and had to be airlifted to hospital in London.

‘Initially, it was believed that what had happened to him was a dreadful accident – but investigations revealed a different and much darker picture.’

Ms Johnson said: ‘The defendant forced a girl under 13 to have sexual contact with him, knowing it was wrong. The boy had started to try to intervene.

‘Unbeknown to the boy’s mother, the defendant then took him to Brighton and in particular, to the cliffs.

‘That afternoon, the boy fell 100 feet from the cliff edge onto the concrete under walk below.

‘The defendant attempted to murder him by pushing him off the cliff.

‘The defendant may have instantly regretted what he had done – but at the moment he pushed the victim, it was the climax of a plan to get the boy out of the way so he could no longer interfere.’

He arrived in Brighton at around 3.30pm on the afternoon in question.

Referring to witness Anthony Boulding, Ms Johnson said: ‘The boy had his hands out as if he was balancing; he seemed to be having fun. The defendant was walking behind him and was matching his pace.

‘Mr Boulding and his friend walked down the steps to the concrete underpass on the beach.

‘About 10 minutes later Mr Boulding heard a noise. Mr Boulding looked up to the top of the cliff and saw a figure on the wrong side of the fence.

‘Another figure stood behind. Mr Boulding heard shouting as if a child was “mucking around”, then shouts and then a small shape fall as if thrown from the cliff.

‘This was followed by a shriek. He did not immediately appreciate that the small shape he saw fall was in fact a human being – it was the boy.’

Jurors heard Mr Boulding and his friend made their way back to the under cliff and noticed a crowd of people.

When they got closer, they realised they were surrounding the child who was ‘clearly in a bad state’ but still alive.

Ms Johnson said Stocks did not run away from the scene but had instead joined the various members of the public that came to the child’s aid, the jury heard.

‘Emma Betts was one of those people who sat with the boy until the ambulance arrived,’ she told jurors.

‘The defendant spoke to a number of people at the scene, civilians and members of the emergency services. He was not consistent in his account of what had happened.

‘Emma Betts recalls seeing the defendant approach the boy and say “I told him not to go near the edge”.

‘The defendant then sat down, rolled a cigarette and got out his phone.’

The boy suffered very serious injuries, including several deep lacerations to his scalp, abrasions to his chest, multiple bruises, multiple fractures to his left arm, and deformity to his left shoulder.

Due to the ‘extremely high impact trauma’ he does not have any memory of the fall itself, the jury heard.

Stocks, who is originally from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was first arrested shortly after the fall on suspicion of child neglect and causing or allowing the serious injury of a child.

He told the police that he had asked the boy if he wanted to go to the seaside, before taking him to the top of the cliffs near Brighton Marina.

The defendant said he sat on a bench and smoked a cigarette while the boy stood by the edge of the cliffs.

Ms Johnson said: ‘Mr Stocks had his head down and suddenly the boy was gone. The defendant thought he was hiding. He ran and found him at the bottom of the cliff.’

Stocks was arrested again on May 12 last year on suspicion of sexual activity with a child under 13 and rape of a child under 13.

At the beginning of the police interview his solicitor read out a prepared statement on behalf of the defendant in which he stated: ‘I’m not sexually attracted to children and have not tried to have or instigated sexual activity with children.’

Stocks was re-arrested on November 23, 2023, on suspicion of attempted murder.

The trial continues.

credit: metro


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