Sept 2006

Council officer dressed as tramp to prey on schoolgirls

A senior council officer dressed as a down-and-out during a “bizarre” double life of respectable family man and brutal sexual predator, a court heard today.

During a seven-year reign of terror, Anthony De Boise would leave his wife and two young children in their £500,000 home, don a pair of dark sunglasses, throw on some scruffy clothes and lie in wait at local beauty spots for vulnerable schoolgirls.

Some had been playing with friends and others playing truant, little suspecting they were about to fall into the clutches of a man so liked by colleagues they called him “Mr Nice Guy”.

Those he targeted, aged 13 to 16, were to tell police of often lengthy ordeals of pain and degradation as he marched them into woods – sometimes at knifepoint – to attack them.

London’s Southwark Crown Court heard most were ordered to strip as he used threats of rape, injury and death to cow them into submission.

On one occasion the paedophile attacked two 13-year-old friends who were so traumatised by their experience they ignored deep gashes in their legs as they scrambled through a barbed wire fence in a desperate bid to get away from him.

Another he pounced on was tied up for part of an ordeal that left her wanting to vomit, while the last was even wished “happy birthday” when she explained she would be 15 the following week and begged him to let her live.

Stephanie Farrimond, prosecuting, said the attacks between 1989 and 1996 triggered a massive police hunt. There was even an appeal on BBC’s Crimewatch, again without success.

Unfortunately the “scruffy” man the victims spoke of, who gave every impression of being an unemployed down-and-out, was a far cry from the otherwise impeccably dressed qualified architect that worked as a Wandsworth Council planning officer.

That helped put police off the scent and enabled him to remain free for 17 years. The court heard he was caught only after a relative accused him of stealing money.

The charge was later dropped, but by that time a DNA sample had been taken, given to the Met’s cold case rape unit and quickly found to match those from the attacks.


De Boise, of Hurtbank Cottages, Holmbury St Mary, Surrey, admitted six indecent assaults. As his wife Susan sat at one end of the court and four of her husband’s victims – some sobbing – occupied a row of seats at the other.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: “The horror described in the impact statements of those he attacked was glaring.” He added the case was so serious he wanted the weekend to carefully consider the appropriate sentence.

De Boise, who was smartly dressed in a dark grey business suit, collar and tie, and spent most of the hearing with his head bowed, was jailed for 13 years.