Former world darts champion Ted Hankey has been jailed for two years for sexually assaulting a young woman.
Hankey was arrested on September 16 2021, six days after the offence, which took place in Cheshire. There was video evidence of the assault which was reported by the victim.
After initially denying the assault, the 54-year-old pleaded guilty at Warrington Magistrates’ Court last month. He has today been given a two-year jail term at Chester Crown Court and will spend 10 years on the sex offenders register.
Hankey pinned the woman down ‘with an air of entitlement’ before sexually assaulting his victim, the court heard. The judge said Hankey would have denied the offence ‘to the bitter end’ had there not been video evidence.
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.”
The Crown Prosection Service applied for a restraining order preventing Hankey from contacting his victim, which has been granted indefinitely.
District Crown Prosecutor Brian Forshaw, a specialist lawyer with 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. The evidence she secured of the assault was crucial to this case and no doubt led to Mr Hankey’s guilty plea.
“Mr Hankey is now a convicted sex offender and this case may have prevented further offending. It can be hard to tell the authorities about abuse, but we would like to say to victims that we will help and support you to give your best evidence and bring your abuser to justice.”
As well as his two Lakeside titles in 2000 and 2009, Hankey, whose nickname is ‘The Count’, was also a runner up in both 2001 and 2004. At the peak of his career, he became famed for entering arenas caped in a cloak, and his walk-on music was the 2002 song ‘Be on Your Way’ by DJ Zany.
His first world title was achieved with a final that went down in darts folklore, as the Stoke-on-Trent born player routed ‘The Rocket’ Ronnie Baxter 6-0. Furthermore, he sealed the win on the bullseye with a maximum 170 finish.
Following his second title win, he left the organisation and signed with the PDC, but never achieved the same level of success in the latter. His last tournament triumph came in 2011, when he prevailed in the Isle of Man Open.
In 2012 though, Hankey struggled with much publicised health problems and had a mini stroke during a match. He would later returned to the BDO and continued to try and qualify for events, but he struggled to regularly make the main draw for tournaments and in 2018, he was the subject of a bankruptcy order made at a London court by HM Revenue and Customs.
In December last year it was announced he was surprisingly withdrawing from the World Seniors Darts Championship, held in February. No reason was given by organisers for his absence, just the following statement: “Following correspondence received from Ted Hankey, he has confirmed that he has formally withdrawn from our February WC22 event. Details on his replacement will be announced in due course.”