Is it true that Tony Anthony lied to the Police and the court regarding his car accident?
There are several points to look at within this section. Before doing so I wish to refer to a conversation I had with Sara surrounding this situation. As the discussion unfolded it was clear she felt embarrassed and ashamed and though willing to answer the questions, she found it difficult. She said at one point she had never shared some of the details with anyone other than Tony. Despite the discomfort this conversation caused Sara, myself and my daughter, we continued with it to build as big a picture of all that happened as possible. On the evening of the accident, Sara told us when Tony returned with the Chinese food, he seemed a little annoyed. When she asked him about what was wrong she said he told her he had knocked into what he thought was an animal and damaged the front of the car. When she asked him about it, he said he hadn’t seen anything and then drove on. This was the third time he had had what they thought was a ‘minor’ accident in a short space of time so she went out to look at the damage to the car. She said it really didn’t look like much and she told Tony it was fine and it didn’t matter. The next time she chatted with Tony about this was on the Saturday following the accident. After the youths had left their home she said Tony was clearly very troubled. She pressed him to share what was wrong and eventually he told her whilst becoming “the most distraught I had ever seen him”. She described him frantically searching through the newspaper until he found the appeal from the police who were looking for answers relating to the accident. She told us she didn’t look at the article. Later on, when the policeman asked Sara about the whereabouts of her car she said she told him it was in the garage. Although she thought Tony had driven away, she said he had suddenly ‘appeared’ beside her and at that point took over the conversation with the policeman, saying the car had been damaged in a car park. He later told her he had seen the policeman approaching her, stopped the car and got out so he could take control of any enquiring conversation. Sara did not correct Tony’s lie. However, she did not lie to the policeman though he recalled she did. She explained it was because they did not agree with this part of the prosecution’s case and some other points they raised, the preparation for the court proceedings took so long. She maintained she had not lied, but the policeman’s report said she did. Both Tony and Sara followed the lawyers’ advice to the ‘letter’. Both say they are not proud of this – Sara said they did not know what to do. They had been given these lawyers/solicitors to represent them, guide them and support them and yet they could not simply just tell the truth. Eventually, it became clear Sara would have to go to court and if she stuck to the fact she had not lied to the policeman and was found guilty by the court, there was a strong likelihood she would have gone to prison. She was not prepared to go to prison and be separated from Ethan, who was a small baby, so she changed her plea to guilty. Tony was then advised to change his pleas to guilty, which he and Sara had wanted all along – it was the truth. This took place many years ago. Both of them have demonstrated remorse at what happened. Tony owns the fact he knocked a woman from her motorbike and that she sustained injuries which later killed her. Tony owns the fact he lied to a member of his youth fellowship, the mechanic and to the policeman. Tony owns the fact he didn’t like the way the whole legal plea bargaining worked. Tony owns the fact he is guilty, has denied 2 young people their mother and said he deserves his sentence – and more. Tony also says freely he is amazed that God would give him 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc chances. All of this is made very clear in the description within Taming the Tiger. We asked him for a statement which is as follows: “This whole awful incident actually took place and the fatal outcome was the death of a motorcyclist. Regardless of what the limited news reports state, I still confirm that I did not see the poor motorcyclist on the road. If I had, then I would have stopped to assist. At the end of the day, I did not stop and as a consequence was convicted of failing to stop and report an accident amongst other things. It was never my intention to cause any wrong impression whatsoever about what happened in the retelling of the incident, and for that I apologise to any readers affected by this misunderstanding. I will seek to retell the incident giving more attention to the fine detail in any future editions of my book.” Below are the points that have been raised surrounding this incident: The victim was found fatally injured in clear view on the road and not, as Taming the Tiger says, in the bushes. Is this true? Taming the Tiger states the accident happened on a rainy night and reported that Tony did not see anything. (See page 203) Later on in the book, Tony says the newspaper mentioned she was found in the bushes, where she later died. (See page 205) The woman was knocked from her motorbike, was found later and died in hospital. Reports regarding where the lady was found vary. Some say she was on the road, some say she was by the roadside and some say she was on the embankment. Tony did not see her at the scene of the accident. Tony took a detour of eight miles to get home: Taming the Tiger states that he had slammed on his brakes, skidded past the stop sign and hit something which he thought was an animal. He details he experienced ‘panic’. He details getting out and taking a brief look. He details reversing back to the stop sign and taking another route (See pages 203 – 204) There is no forensic evidence to back Tony’s story We asked for the notes from the solicitor who represented Tony and Sara and from the court. Due to the time that has passed and in accordance with the record retaining policies, these have been destroyed. If Tony had been speeding, he would have been convicted of Death by Dangerous Driving. The skid marks verified his speed was in legal limits. Tony reports the police told his solicitor that the lights of the motorbike were off. (See pages 203 – 204) To our knowledge, there is no forensic evidence to refute Tony’s story. The level of damage was much worse than Tony claimed Both Sara and Tony verify the number plate and headlight were damaged. There was no difficulty in driving the car. There was also damage to the bumper and Tony indicated that the car needed to be repaired (See page 206) The account in Taming the Tiger of how Tony found out about the accident indicates he already knew what happened Page 204 highlights that Tony first heard about the severity of the accident on the Saturday following the accident, by young people in his home. It clearly relays he quickly made the connection and realised that he was the driver who had caused this woman’s death. He then saw the report in the newspaper detailing the police were looking for ‘him’. With this knowledge, he chose to lie to the policemen and was convicted for perverting the course of justice and failing to stop and report an accident. Tony says that he was quick to admit liability – he was not. Sara and Tony both maintain they just wanted the truth to be told once they reached the police station. “Once at the police station, we were kept apart and led into individual interview rooms. We couldn’t tell our story fast enough. No more lies. We were both desperate to spill out the details of this dreadful accident. I couldn’t care less about the interrogation. I wanted to die. All I could think about was the woman I had killed. As an evangelist I was in the business of leading people to Jesus to receive new life. Now I had caused the untimely death of an innocent lady. Like me, she had been travelling home from doing youth work. She had two children at home.” (See page 207) Police found a newspaper at Tony Anthony’s house detailing the accident. Yes! Tony clearly states this (See page 205) He shared with us that he had not read the article prior to the youth fellowship meeting in his home and following my discussion with Sara, this fits with his distraught state once the young people had left their home. Sara verified she never looked at the article The young people from the church had turned up at Tony Anthony’s house for a Bible study on the Saturday following the accident, which had occurred on the Monday of that week. They told Tony about the accident. Yes, this is detailed in Taming the Tiger (See page 204) Taming the Tiger records Sara and Tony agreed to say nothing This point is untrue. Page 207 of Taming the Tiger records both Sara and Tony being open when interviewed by the police. Sara also stated they never made such an agreement. The PC looked at the cars at the school, spoke to Sara and asked where her car was. She stated they had had an accident in Essex in a supermarket car park. The police later found the car parts and identified the car. Police maintain Sara lied. Tony details lying to the mechanics (See page 206) Tony and Sara both vehemently hold to the fact Sara did not say she had found the car damaged in an Essex supermarket car park (see page 206) Press reports and the record in Taming the Tiger differ in degree of detail in that the book contains only scant details of what happened in relation to the offences that Tony was tried for eg the road accident and the allegation of racial harassment. Tony clearly states he was charged with “Harrassment” (See page 210 to 211) The charges against Tony are clearly seen in his ACPO document. Tony contacted the solicitor who represented him at that time and the court where he was tried, to access his records. The detail/documents are no longer available as the case took place over 7 years ago. click to view a scan of:
Tony has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate remorse over the whole incident relating to this accident. He has served his time and sentence. To anyone who would have Tony silenced I would say this: Would you have wanted the Apostle Peter forever silenced after his clear blatant denial of Jesus with an oath, curses and swearing (The Bible, Matthew 26:69-75)? And what did Jesus do? Within a matter of days, not years, the Apostle Peter was forgiven and reinstated. More than that, again after a matter of days, who was it that preached that wonderful message at Pentecost? None other than the same former cursing, swearing liar. The very denier of The Lord Jesus Himself (The Bible, Acts 2:14 – 47). Why was this? Our Lord Jesus Christ came to save and to forgive, but this is also an example to all of us who profess His Name, to do as He did and taught (Matthew 18: 21 – 22).