PROFESSIONAL darts player Tony Eccles was today jailed for 16 years for the sexual abuse of a schoolgirl.

Eccles, 44, of Northgate, Hartlepool, raped and abused the girl over a six-year period.

Before sentencing at Teesside Crown Court this afternoon, prosecutor Shaun Dodds, advised judge George Moorhouse that members of the darts player's family had made threats and threatened to name the victim online.

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"Police are aware of these people who would be well advised to dessist from such activity," he said.