Former world dart champion Ted Hankey dabbed tears away as he was today jailed for two years after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Married man Hankey, 54, pinned the young girl down and, with an ‘air of entitlement’, sexually assaulted his victim, Chester Crown Court heard.
The attack occurred in Crewe, Cheshire, on September 10 last year, and the court previously heard that the victim was aged between 16 and 18.
Passing sentence, Judge Steven Everett, Recorder of Chester, said Hankey would have ‘denied it to the bitter end’ if the attack had not been caught on film.
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.’
The footage was played to the judge after the courtroom had been cleared of public and press.
Former world darts champion Ted Hankey, 54, pictured arriving at Chester Crown Court earlier today where he was sentenced to two years in prison for sexual assaulting a teenage girl
Judge Steven Everett told Hankey: ‘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 in 2009 after defeating Tony O’Shea during the World Darts Championship Final at Frimley Green
The girl reported the incident to police on Thursday, September 16, and Hankey was arrested the same day.
During questioning he denied committing the offence, and subsequently answered ‘no comment’ after being shown the video footage.
However, upon appearing at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, April 14, he pleaded guilty to the sexual assault.
The darts player, who arrived at games dressed as a vampire and went by the nickname The Count during his playing days, first qualified for the BDO world championship in 1998.
He won the prestigious event in 2000 and 2009 and also finished as runner up twice at the Lakeside tournament.
Hankey is married and lives on the outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent with his family.
His net worth has variously been predicted from £1m to £8m, although he declared bankruptcy in 2017.
The court heard his wife is now divorcing him and his children do not want any contact either.
Earlier, prosecutor Simon 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?”
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
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.
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.
But Judge Everett replied: ‘He would have denied it to the bitter end had it not been filmed.’
Cheshire Police welcomed the two-year jail term. Hankey has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the next 10 years.
During questioning, Hankey strongly denied the sexual assault but answered ‘no comment’ when he was shown the video evidence. He pleaded guilty to the charge at Warrington Magistrates Court last month
Hankey at Warrington Magistrates Courton April 14, where he pleaded guilty to the sexual assault nearly six months after his denial to police
Following the case, Detective Constable Laura Bradshaw, who led the investigation said: ‘I would like to commend the victim for the courage and bravery that she has shown throughout the investigation.
‘The evidence that she provided proved vital in Hankey’s prosecution and left him with no option but to plead guilty to the charge against him.
‘While the victim will never be able to forget what Hankey subjected her to, I do hope that the conclusion of this case provides some closure and enables her to move forward with her life.
‘I also hope that this case encourages other victims of sexual offences to come forward and report them to us.
‘We treat all reports of sexual offences extremely seriously, and any reports will be thoroughly investigated, with the wishes and needs of the victim as our main priority.
‘Victims should never feel ashamed to talk about what they have been subjected to.
‘They will receive the help and support they need from our specialist officers, as well as from other support agencies we work alongside, and all victims of sexual offences have the right to anonymity.’