Darts player Tony Eccles and brother deny schoolgirl rape

Tony Eccles Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tony Eccles has been a regular competitor at the BDO World Championship at Lakeside, Frimley Green

A darts player facing five charges of rape and five of indecently assaulting a schoolgirl, has pleaded not guilty.

Tony Eccles, 44, of Northgate, on the Headland, Hartlepool, appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

He is charged with his brother, Glen Eccles, 46, of Trefoil Court, Norton, who denies two counts of rape and two of indecent assault.

Both were granted conditional bail and will stand trial at Teesside Crown Court on 9 June.

Nicknamed 'The Viper', Tony Eccles announced his intention to retire from darts after his defeat in the quarter-finals of the 2014 BDO World Championship.

In a career spanning 14 years, he played on the PDC circuit and won 13 tournaments.

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