Film extra warned boy away from cliff edge, court told

SWNS Anthony StocksSWNS

Anthony Stocks denies attempting to murder the boy

A man accused of raping a young girl has told a jury he did not push her brother off a cliff after the boy allegedly discovered his sister was being abused.

Anthony Stocks is alleged to have thrown the boy off cliffs near Ovingdean, close to Brighton, in September 2022.

Giving evidence he told Oxford Crown Court he had lost sight of the boy after repeatedly warning him not to cross a safety fence above an 80ft (24.4m) drop.

The 54-year-old, of Iceni Close in Goring, Oxfordshire, denies charges of attempted murder, sexual assault and rape.

Mr Stocks said the visit to the cliff top had been a last-minute change of plan, after a day spent touring football grounds in London with the boy – who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He said he had originally planned for the final stop of the day to be Brighton and Hove Albion’s stadium at Falmer, but instead took a taxi to the cliff top because it had been featured in the film Quadrophenia.

Eddie Mitchell The cliff at OvingdeanEddie Mitchell

Ovingdean is a small village to the east of Brighton on the East Sussex coast

The boy, he said, had “started getting a bit moody” about the separation of his parents a few weeks earlier.

“I want my mum and dad back,” the boy allegedly told the defendant.

“I said I don’t think that’s ever going to happen,” Mr Stocks said.

He said he had warned the boy not to cross a safety fence close to the cliff’s edge.

Asked what he then heard, Mr Stocks let out a cry, before burying his head in his hands.

Counsel for the defence, Martin Rutherford KC asked him: “Did you ever push him at all that day?”

“No,” Mr Stocks replied.

“Would that be something you would ever consider doing?” the barrister asked.

Again Mr Stocks answered “no”.

Oxford Crown Court

Anthony Stocks denies throwing a boy off the cliff top, a jury at Oxford Crown Court heard

The jury was told Mr Stocks was a one-time film extra who had appeared in the Star Wars franchise, along with JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

When he was arrested police found thousands of pornographic pictures and videos on his phone, all of them “legal”, according to his counsel.

But the jury raised a number of questions about his internet searches after the defence team had earlier accepted he had viewed films about adults having sex with younger people.

Mr Stocks is charged with four counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, rape of a child under 13, attempted murder and cruelty to a person under 16.

He denies all the chares and the trial continues.

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