Man guilty of attempting to murder boy who found out he had raped a girl

A man has been found guilty of attempting to murder a boy who had found out he had raped a girl.

Anthony Stocks, 54, devised a plan to kill a young boy who had tried to stop him assaulting a young girl and pushed him off a cliff.

Stocks was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, and one count each of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, rape and attempted murder.

One of the police officers who worked on the investigation has labelled it "without a doubt one of the worst cases of child abuse that I have investigated".

Stocks had previously taken the boy to an Oxfordshire quarry with a plan to push him, but changed his mind, Thames Valley Police said.

On 24 September 2022, he took the boy to cliffs at Ovingdean, just outside Brighton and carried out his plan - pushing the boy from 100ft high.

The child miraculously survived despite extensive injuries.

The fall was initially thought to be accidental but the fact he was pushed - and Stocks' motivation - was uncovered during an investigation.

Stocks was arrested on charges including attempted murder and rape in November 2023. He was charged the same day.

Police found he had raped and sexually assaulted a girl multiple times across a three-year period between 2019 and 2022.

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The girl confided in the boy about the abuse, and when he attempted to intervene, the 54-year-old began planning to kill him - and told the girl his plan.

Detective Sergeant Rachel Jackson, the deputy senior investigating officer on the case, has labelled Stocks' offences "horrific and evil".

She continued: "He is a very dangerous individual, who had no thought about anybody but himself, to protect himself from prosecution by removing the boy from the equation.

"He has not shown any remorse throughout the course of this investigation.

"I would like to praise both victims for their unbelievable courage and resolve that helped us to bring Stocks to justice."

DS Jackson added: "This is without a doubt one of the worst cases of child abuse that I have investigated.

"The impact that this has had on both victims, as well as all of the officers and staff who investigated this, is not to be underestimated."

Stocks will be sentenced at a later date.