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Ex-darts champion Ted Hankey jailed for sex assault

Former world darts champion Ted Hankey has been jailed at Chester Crown Court for sexually assaulting a woman in Crewe last September (Peter Byrne./PA)
Former world darts champion Ted Hankey has been jailed at Chester Crown Court for sexually assaulting a woman in Crewe last September (Peter Byrne./PA)

Former world darts champion Ted Hankey has been jailed for two years after he was caught on camera sexually assaulting a young woman.

The 54-year-old, who had shown “more self-pity than remorse”, dabbed away tears with a tissue as he was sentenced at Chester Crown Court.

Judge Steven Everett, Recorder of Chester, said Hankey had shown an “arrogant entitlement” when he attacked his victim in Crewe on September 10 last year.

The two-time darts world champion had “flatly denied” any wrongdoing and “expressed amazement” at the allegation when he was first arrested.

But he stopped talking and refused to answer any more questions when detectives told him the attack had been caught on camera, the court heard.

Footage of the attack was played to the judge after the court had been cleared of the press and members of the public.

The young woman, still traumatised by the attack, cannot be named for legal reasons.

Hankey, from Stoke-on-Trent, a father of three, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a single count of sexual assault.

As well as being given two years in prison, he was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Ted Hankey File Photo
The judge said he was sure Ted Hankey, pictured in 2012, would ‘never play darts again on television’ (PA)

Passing sentence, Judge Everett told him: “You genuinely believed nobody would believe her, until you were shown the damning evidence.

“The nature of what you did, the fact that you pinned her down, that air of entitlement… You treated her as an object for your own disgusting and deviant sexual desires.

“Your self-pity about the loss of status and ability to earn money – I’m sure you will never play darts again on television.”

Hankey, whose darts nickname is The Count, was the BDO world champion in 2000 and 2009.

His wife is now divorcing him and his children do not want any contact either, the court heard.

Earlier, Simon Parry, prosecuting the defendant who was listed in court as Edward Hankey, said: “He’s better known as Ted Hankey from the fact that he’s a twice winner of the BDO World Darts Championship, in 2000 and 2009.”

Mr Parry said of Hankey’s arrest: “He flatly denied any wrongdoing, expressing amazement he had been arrested and did not know why she was saying what she had, saying ‘Why would I do that?’”

The prosecutor said that when police told him the incident had been caught on camera, Hankey “made no further comment to all questions”.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the woman said she now suffers continuing distress, panic attacks and heart palpitations.

Ted Hankey court case
Former world darts champion Ted Hankey ‘flatly denied’ any wrongdoing when he was first arrested (Peter Byrne/PA)

She added: “As a result of this crime I believe I have developed PTSD.

“This crime has had a major impact on my mental health. I’m very distrusting of males. I find it very difficult to have any physical contact with others.”

Mark Connor, defending, asked for a suspended jail sentence, saying the assault was “opportunist”, that Hankey had admitted the offence and wanted to apologise for his behaviour.

Judge Everett replied: “He would have denied it to the bitter end had it not been filmed.”

District Crown Prosecutor Brian Forshaw, a specialist lawyer with Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Mersey Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service and Cheshire Police had damning evidence of this assault and Mr Hankey thankfully pleaded guilty at an early stage. He has now been sentenced.

“The CPS would like to thank the victim for her help and courage in bringing this prosecution, and we have worked to support her.

“Mr Hankey is now a convicted sex offender and this case may have prevented further offending.”