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Cliff Push and Sexual Assault: Man Found Guilty in Shocking Child Abuse Case

Anthony Stocks, 54, previously residing at Icieni Close, Goring-on-Thames, has been found guilty of multiple serious offences including attempted murder and rape. The unanimous jury verdict delivered today includes 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.

Photo – Sussex News

The investigation, conducted jointly by Thames Valley Police and Sussex Police, uncovered that Stocks had plotted to kill a young boy who intervened to stop him from sexually assaulting a young girl.

Stocks initially took the boy to a quarry in Oxfordshire, intending to push him off the edge, but hesitated. However, on 24th September 2022, Stocks took the child to cliffs at Ovingdean, near Brighton, where he pushed the boy from the edge. The boy fell approximately 100 feet onto a concrete floor, sustaining severe injuries but miraculously surviving.

Photo – Sussex News

Initially, the fall was considered accidental, but subsequent investigations revealed a sinister motive. Stocks was arrested on 23rd November 2023, charged with attempted murder, rape, and additional sexual offences.

Between 2019 and 2022, Stocks resided in east Oxfordshire, where he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted a young girl. The boy, upon learning of Stocks’ crimes, attempted to protect the girl, leading to Stocks’ plan to eliminate him.

Stocks had previously taken the boy to a quarry with the intention of pushing him off but changed his mind. Later, after a visit to Chelsea Football Club, Stocks took the boy to the cliffs at Ovingdean, where he executed his plan.

Despite severe injuries from the fall, the boy survived and continues to recover. Stocks is awaiting sentencing, which is yet to be scheduled.

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.

“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.

“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.

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

Photo – Sussex News

“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.

“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.

“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.”

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