Ex-darts champion Ted Hankey jailed for sex assault
The 54-year-old pinned a young woman down and, with an “air of entitlement”, sexually assaulted her in Crewe on 10 September last year, Chester Crown Court. heard.
Hankey, who had shown “more self-pity than remorse”, dabbed away tears with a tissue as he was sentenced on Thursday.
In an impact statement read to the court, the victim said she now suffers continuing distress, panic attacks and heart palpitations. She cannot be named for legal reasons.
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 Steven Everett replied: “He would have denied it to the bitter end had it not been filmed.”
The father-of-three had “flatly denied” any wrongdoing and “expressed amazement” at the allegation when he was first arrested.
Footage of the attack was played to the judge after the courtroom had been cleared of public and press.
Hankey, whose nickname is The Count and was the BDO world champion in 2000 and 2009, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a single count of sexual assault.
His wife is now divorcing him and his children do not want any contact either, the court heard.
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.”
After the hearing detective constable, Laura Bradshaw, of the Cheshire Police Public Protection Directorate, who led the investigation said: “Firstly I would like to commend the victim for the courage and bravery that she has shown throughout the investigation.
"The evidence 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.
“Cheshire Constabulary treats 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."