Mum tells jury in trial of darts player Tony Eccles: ‘I let down my rape victim daughter’

Tony Eccles outside Teesside Crown Court
Tony Eccles outside Teesside Crown Court

A COURT heard how the mother of a girl who claims she was sexually abused by Hartlepool darts star Tony Eccles felt she had let her daughter down.

The jury in the trial at Teesside Crown Court heard details of the moment the alleged victim told her mum she had been abused by Eccles.

The alleged victim did not press charges at the time.

But details of the reaction the allegation caused within the girl’s family at the time were revealed to the court yesterday.

An emotional diary entry from the girl’s mother was read out in which she said: “X (the victim) broke down and told me she had been sexually abused.

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when she told me. I felt as though I had really let her down.”

The diary continued:“I feel really sorry for (her). I’ve never seen her cry like that before.”

The mum, who sobbed as the passage was read to the jury, wrote in another entry soon afterwards: “I don’t know what to do for the best.”

Professional darts player Eccles, 44, is accused of five counts of rape and five sexual assaults, all against the same person, who is now an adult and cannot be named for legal reasons.

She claims he repeatedly touched her sexually and his behaviour escalated to rape, including once outdoors.

In the afternoon the trial heard from a school friend of the alleged victim who said she confided in her that Eccles was having sex with her when they were at school.

Eccles, of Northgate, the Headland, Hartlepool, denies any of the incidents of sexual activity she alleges ever happened.

The trial continues.