Man on Trial for Attempted Murder After Allegedly Pushing Child Off Cliff

Anthony Stocks, 54, allegedly took a child from London to Brighton without the mother’s knowledge and pushed him off a cliff in front of shocked day-trippers in September 2022. The incident initially appeared to be a tragic accident, but further investigation revealed a darker scenario.

Witnesses described hearing a “shriek” and seeing “a small shape fall as if thrown from the cliff” before the boy landed on the concrete walkway below. According to Metro

At Oxford Crown Court, prosecutors stated that Stocks, from Oxfordshire, is charged with the attempted murder of the boy and the rape of a girl under 13. Prosecutor Zoe Johnson KC explained that Stocks allegedly forced the young girl into sexual contact, which the boy attempted to stop. Unbeknownst to the boy’s mother, Stocks then took him to Brighton, where he allegedly pushed him off the cliff, causing severe injuries.

“Miraculously, he did not die, but was very seriously injured and had to be airlifted to a London hospital,” Johnson said. Initially considered an accident, further investigation suggested that Stocks planned the boy’s fall to prevent him from interfering further. Reported by DailyMail

Johnson noted that the defendant might have instantly regretted his actions, but the push culminated from a plan to eliminate the boy’s interference. Stocks had previously considered pushing the boy from a quarry in Oxfordshire.

On the day of the alleged offense, Stocks took the boy to Brighton by train, arriving around 3:30 pm. Witness statements described the pair walking towards the cliffs, with one witness, Anthony Boulding, recalling seeing the boy playing near the cliff edge and Stocks following closely behind. Moments later, witnesses heard shouting and saw the boy fall from the cliff, followed by a shriek. told by Mirror

Boulding and others found the boy in a critical state but alive. Stocks did not flee but instead mingled with bystanders and emergency responders, offering inconsistent accounts of the incident.

Emma Betts, who stayed with the boy until the ambulance arrived, recalled Stocks saying, “I told him not to go near the edge,” before sitting down to roll a cigarette and use his phone.

The boy sustained severe injuries, including deep scalp lacerations, chest abrasions, multiple fractures, and a deformed shoulder. Due to the trauma, he has no memory of the fall. told by MSN

Stocks, originally from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was initially arrested for child neglect and causing or allowing serious injury. He claimed he had taken the boy to the seaside and lost sight of him briefly before finding him at the bottom of the cliff.

Stocks was re-arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a child under 13 and rape on May 12 last year, and again on November 23, 2023, on suspicion of attempted murder.

The trial continues.