Stop crucifying him, says Boycott’s wife
As cricketing great collects knighthood, his partner reveals evidence against domestic violence claims
Sir Geoffrey Boycott’s wife has appealed to leading domestic violence charities to stop “crucifying” her husband over allegations that he beat up a former lover. In a letter seen by The Daily Telegraph, Rachael Boycott claims the former England cricket captain was wrongly convicted in 1998 and deserves his knighthood, which he will collect today. She says that by taking the side of Margaret Moore, charities “risk devaluing genuine domestic abuse”.
SIR Geoffrey Boycott’s wife has appealed to domestic violence charities to stop “crucifying” her husband over allegations that he beat up a former lover.
In a letter seen by The Daily Telegraph, Rachael Boycott claims the former England cricket captain was wrongly convicted and fully deserves his knighthood, which he will collect at Buckingham Palace today.
Lady Boycott, 67, points to newly uncovered court documents that appear to support Sir Geoffrey’s denial that he punched Margaret Moore during a row in a French hotel room in 1996.
She brands Ms Moore a “bunny boiler”, suggesting that she deliberately framed Sir Geoffrey for a crime that never happened in order to sell her story for thousands of pounds, a claim Ms Moore has always denied.
“Just stop for a minute and consider has there ever been a miscarriage of justice,” Lady Boycott writes. “Could you be wrongly crucifying a good man? Could he actually be telling the truth?
“I would like to share evidence with you that I believe casts serious doubt on Ms Moore’s story. By taking her side unconditionally, I believe you risk devaluing genuine domestic abuse.”
It comes after the September announcement of Sir Geoffrey’s knighthood for services to cricket provoked outrage from charities and MPS who said he was unworthy of the honour.
Last night, Lady Boycott sent her 2,000-word letter to the principal opponents of her husband’s knighthood, including the domestic violence charities Women’s Aid and Woman’s Trust, as well as the Labour MPS Harriet Harman and Dawn Butler, and even the former Spice Girl Melanie Brown who has described the former cricketer as a “disgrace to Yorkshire”.
Ms Moore, meanwhile, has always stood by her story that Sir Geoffrey pinned her down and punched her more than 20 times. In January 1998 she told a packed French courtroom: “He’s a very strong man. I was screaming and screaming. I couldn’t stop him.”
The former England cricketer, however, insisted that his former girlfriend bumped her head while drunkenly “hitting and kicking” him.
The magistrates believed Ms Moore and delivered a guilty verdict that Sir Geoffrey failed to overturn on appeal.
But Lady Boycott, who has been married to the former cricketer for 17 years, points in her letter to new evidence that she believes undermines Ms Moore’s account.
She refers to a newly revealed cache of court documents seen by The Telegraph that reveal Ms Moore was accused of a “deliberate lack of truthfulness” by a British judge during a bankruptcy hearing shortly after the alleged assault.
Another legal letter claims that Ms Moore made a series of false accusations against her ex-husband in order to prevent him seeing their two children.
A consultant forensic psychiatrist quoted in the documents concluded Ms Moore was “probably a pathological liar” and had “a personality disorder with hysterical and psychopathic features”. Another document signed by a police officer shows Ms Moore was proved to have made a series of nuisance calls to Sir Geoffrey’s then-partner Anne Wyatt.
Meanwhile, a barrister acting for Ms Moore demanded £1million in return for her silence, while a solicitor later recalled her admitting, in relation to the incident with Sir Geoffrey, that she in fact “threatened to kill herself and then slipped and fell and hit her head”.
Speaking shortly after the announcement of Sir Geoffrey’s knighthood last year, Ms Moore said: “I stand by everything I said,” adding that the news of her ex-lover’s honour was “disgusting”.
But Lady Boycott claims that her husband’s accuser was a “woman scorned” who invented the assault after Sir Geoffrey refused her offer of marriage, and then sold her story to solve her financial problems.
“My belief after sitting through the court case and being at Geoffrey’s side throughout his ordeal, is that Ms Moore was a ‘bunny boiler’ who saw Geoffrey as a meal ticket when she was about to go bankrupt for £800,000,” Lady Boycott writes.
The documents confirm that at the time of the incident in the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, Ms Moore was indeed in grave financial straits. Her IT business was collapsing under debts of £1.3million, while she owed a solicitor £35,829 in unpaid legal bills.
“I know that nothing I can say proves beyond doubt that Geoffrey did not hit her,” Lady Boycott continues. “But the evidence I have seen leads me to believe that my husband has fallen victim to a terrible miscarriage of justice.
“One of the young reporters in the court that day dubbed it the ‘French Farce’. That’s exactly what it was. If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be laughable.”
Miss Moore, 62, who now lives near Menton in the south of France, did not respond to requests for comment last night. She previously told The Telegraph: “I was beaten up several times by Geoffrey. I stand by what I said at the time.”
Asked if her accusations were financially motivated, she said: “Geoffrey did have a lot of discussions with me, but I was not motivated by money.”
‘By taking [Ms Moore’s] side unconditionally, I believe you risk devaluing genuine domestic abuse’
Sir Geoffrey Boycott with his wife Rachael, who has appealed to opponents of his knighthood to acknowledge a miscarriage of justice Margaret Moore has said previously that she stands by her claims that she was beaten several times