The 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 it was said 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 10 September 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 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 two years in prison, he was ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.
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, 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.
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.”