Man found guilty of attempting to murder 10-year-old boy after pushing him off cliff in Sussex

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A man has been found guilty of raping a young girl and throwing her brother off a cliff in Sussex after the boy discovered she was being abused.

In 2022, Anthony Stocks took the child to a set of cliffs at Ovingdean, near Brighton, where he carried out his plan, pushing the boy from the cliff edge, a Thames Valley Police spokesperson confirmed.

Stocks, aged 54, formerly of Icieni Close, Goring-on-Thames, was found guilty by unanimous jury verdict 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.

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The boy was pushed from the cliff, falling 100 feet to the ground, where he sustained multiple severe injuries. He still suffers from ongoing issues as a result of the fall, but has otherwise made a miraculous recovery, Thames Valley Police added.

Stocks, aged 54, formerly of Icieni Close, Goring-on-Thames, was found guilty by unanimous jury verdict 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. Picture: Thames Valley PoliceStocks, aged 54, formerly of Icieni Close, Goring-on-Thames, was found guilty by unanimous jury verdict 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. Picture: Thames Valley Police
Stocks, aged 54, formerly of Icieni Close, Goring-on-Thames, was found guilty by unanimous jury verdict 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. Picture: Thames Valley Police

The joint investigation between Thames Valley Police and Sussex Police found that Anthony Stocks had hatched a plan to kill a young boy who had tried to stop him from his offending against a young girl.

Stocks is due to be sentenced at a later date yet to be confirmed.

The Deputy Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Sergeant Rachel Jackson of Thames Valley Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “These were absolutely horrific and evil offences committed by Anthony Stocks.

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“Over a period of around three years, Stocks had subjected the girl to sexual abuse and rape, and when the boy became aware of what was happening, Stocks hatched his evil plan to kill him.

“What then transpired is nothing short of horrifying. He won the boy’s trust, taking him to see Chelsea’s football stadium, as the boy was passionate about football, and particularly Chelsea FC.

“From there, he asked the boy if he wanted to go to the seaside.

“The boy could have had no idea what Stocks had planned to do.

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“Stocks took the boy to a set of cliffs in the area and pushed or threw him from the top, knowing that this would have almost certainly killed him.

“Miraculously, the boy survived this ordeal, although he has no recollection of the fall itself.

“Stocks had intended to kill the boy to get him out of the way so he could continue his offending against the girl. This failed, and Stocks was arrested.

“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.

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“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.

“They showed immense maturity and clarity, both in their interviews with police and at court, about what had happened to them.

“It’s because of this truly inspirational courage that Stocks has now been brought to justice and will be sent to prison for a long time.

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“It has been truly humbling to support them through this investigation.

“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.

“I would like to thank everybody who was involved in bringing Stocks to justice, particularly our colleagues at Sussex Police in this challenging and distressing investigation.”

Detective Constable Vicki Blythe, of Sussex Police’s Complex Abuse Unit, said: “Anthony Stocks’ calculated offending betrayed the trust of two young people, who must now live with the impact of his crimes for the rest of their lives.

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“Both of his victims have shown remarkable courage and determination to support this investigation through to its conclusion. I would like to thank them both for helping us bring Stocks to justice.

“The events of 24 September, 2022, was alarming for residents of Ovingdean and the wider community. It was a miracle it did not end in more tragic circumstances, and I would also like to thank all of those who came forward with information and messages of support.

“Finally, I commend my colleagues in Thames Valley Police for their outstanding work on the investigation.

“If you are a victim of sexual offending, please report it to the police online, or via 101. You will be believed and supported. Always dial 999 in an emergency.”