The suspect appeared ‘calm’ after the boy’s fall from the cliff, the court was told

Image source, Eddie Mitchell

Image caption, Ovingdean is a small village east of Brighton on the East Sussex coast

A man accused of raping a young girl ‘seemed quite calm’ after allegedly throwing her brother off a cliff, a court has heard.

Anthony Stocks, 54, of Iceni Close in Goring, Oxfordshire, denies charges of attempted murder, assault and rape.

He is said to have thrown the boy off a cliff near Ovingdean, near Brighton, after discovering his sister was being abused.

A passerby told Oxford Crown Court that after the near-fatal fall, Mr Stocks sat down and rolled a cigarette.

None of the children can be named for legal reasons.

Anthony Balding, who was walking on the cliff with his partner, said the boy “seemed quite exuberant” and walked with his arms outstretched along a grassy embankment as if trying to balance.

Mr Stocks walked very quickly a few paces behind him, as if trying to keep up, and he seemed determined and not very happy, he said.

Mr Balding said: “I heard some kind of commotion, maybe shouting or something. At first I couldn’t see anything, and then to my surprise I saw two figures where they shouldn’t be.”

He said the boy appeared to be standing on the wrong side of the security fence, close to the edge of the cliff, with the other figure close behind him.

“I also saw something fall,” he added, but said he did not realize it was the boy.

Image caption, Anthony Stocks allegedly threw a boy off a cliff, a jury at Oxford Crown Court heard

A passerby who tried to help, Peter Maxted, said: “This man (Mr Stocks) came towards us, he seemed quite calm.”

PC Mark Donnelly gave evidence and his body-worn footage was played to the jury.

In the footage, the boy could be heard groaning in pain as paramedics stood around him.

In the video, Mr Stocks can be heard telling someone he had shouted: “Don’t go near the cliff.”

He can also be heard in the video saying, “He ran and he just went over it.”

The officer said he was surprised by his attitude because “it was quite a strange reaction, it was not what I expected.”

Mr Stocks is charged with four counts of sexual abuse of 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 allegations and the trial continues.

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