Man 'threw' boy, 10, from cliff so he could continue sexual abuse of child

Ovingdean cliffs in Brighton and inset Anthony Stocks outside of court <i>(Image: Google and NQ)</i>
Ovingdean cliffs in Brighton and inset Anthony Stocks outside of court (Image: Google and NQ)

A BOY fell 100ft from a clifftop in Brighton after reportedly being pushed by a man he had ‘caught’ sexually abusing a young girl.

Anthony Stocks, of Iceni Close, Goring, is on trial at Oxford Crown Court accused of attempting to murder the 10-year-old boy after he tried to ‘intervene’ with Stocks allegedly assaulting an underage girl.

Reportedly, the 54-year-old wanted to ‘marry’ the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and had sexually assaulted her on several occasions in the early 2020s.

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The boy, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, tried to stop the assaults, resulting in Stocks allegedly trying to kill the boy on two different occasions.

Oxford Mail: Anthony Stocks
Oxford Mail: Anthony Stocks

Anthony Stocks (Image: NQ)

Stocks has been charged with four counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, one charge of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and one count of rape of a child.

Stocks also faces one charge of attempted murder and an alternative charge of cruelty to a person under 16.

The trial started on Monday (May 20) when a jury heard Stocks had denied the charges, stating he ‘didn’t see’ the boy fall from the cliff but had ‘heard a noise’ and found him at the bottom.

Speaking about the alleged sexual assaults in the opening of the trial, prosecutor Zoe Johnson KC said: “It often appears as if the defendant is seeking to make [the girl] dependent on him and indeed, to an extent, grooming her.

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“[During the police investigation], the defendant told his mental health support worker that one day he would get married to [the girl] and they would be together forever.

“He said that [she] listened to him and understood him.”

The jury heard the girl had confided in the boy after the alleged assaults, and ‘was scared’.

Stocks became aware that the boy knew about the alleged assaults and had planned to ‘disrupt it’.

On September 24, 2022, Stocks took the boy to Ovingdean, Brighton after allegedly trying to push him off a cliff at a quarry in Chinnor several weeks earlier.

A witness states they then saw a ‘small shape fall as if thrown from the cliff’, followed by ‘a shriek’.

Passers-by called the emergency services and the boy was airlifted to St George’s Hospital in London.

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He suffered from several fractures including to his head and arm, a deformity to his neck and a laceration of his spleen and kidney.

When interviewed by police, the girl claimed Stocks had allegedly admitted he was going to push the boy off the cliff ‘as he wanted to get rid of him’.

Concluding her opening, Ms Johnson KC said: "In conclusion, the defendant abused [the girl and the boy] for his own selfish purposes.

"He forced [the girl] to have sexual contact with him, knowing it was wrong otherwise why would he tell her to keep it a secret.

"He was manipulative and the two children were compliant."

The trial continues.