Stop cru­ci­fy­ing him, says Boy­cott’s wife

As crick­et­ing great col­lects knight­hood, his part­ner re­veals ev­i­dence against do­mes­tic vi­o­lence claims

The Daily Telegraph - - Front page - By Bill Gard­ner

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

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