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Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Darts star fined over assaults
Darts champ Phil Taylor and wife Yvonne
World darts champion Phil Taylor and wife Yvonne outside court
World darts champion Phil Taylor has been fined 2,000 for indecently assaulting two women fans.

The 40-year-old star, who was awarded the MBE in the New Year Honours List, was sentenced at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Isobella McColl told Taylor: "However brazen the attitude of the complainers may appear now, they were very upset by it at the time."

Taylor, a father of four from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, was convicted of fondling two 23-year-old women after a darts exhibition in Fife in 1999.

Courts graphic
The trial was heard at Dunfermline Sheriff Court
The assaults took place after the two women accepted a lift home in the player's motor home.

Nine times world darts champion Taylor, nicknamed The Power, denied the allegations but was found guilty and sentencing was deferred for background reports.

The court was told Taylor had taken on 14 local darts players at a hotel in October 1999 before giving an exhibition in front of 150 people.

After returning to Taylor's camping van, one of the victims said he tried to kiss her while she was lying on the back seat. The court was told Taylor fondled both women.

However brazen the attitude of the complainers may appear now, they were very upset by it at the time

Sheriff Isobella McColl
Sheriff McColl said: "I have been made aware that some people and certain sections of the tabloid press consider that drunken young women who get into a van deserve all they get.

"That is a moral judgment. It is not my job to make moral judgments, I am here to apply the law.

"In our law it is recognised that personal integrity should be protected, even that of drunken young women."

The Sheriff added that she was persuaded that the offence was at the lower end of the scale and did not consider a jail sentence appropriate for Taylor.

Unwelcome press attention

Instead he was fined 1,000 for each offence.

Tony Anderson, defending Taylor, said the player had suffered considerably in his professional and private life since being convicted in March.

"Mr Taylor has endured a fairly traumatic and anxious 18-month period from the date of the offence," Mr Anderson said.

"Understandably it has been traumatic for his wife and family who have been expected to tolerate the unwelcome press attention.

Public perception

"The public perception of Mr Taylor will have been seriously affected and he hopes he can put this behind him and concentrate again on his career and his family.

"He is determined never to burden himself with a similar set of circumstances again."

Mr Anderson added that Taylor's sponsorship deals, television work, and even his MBE had been put in jeopardy by his conviction.

He said a number of TV appearances had been cancelled along with several exhibition events, including some which were to have been staged for charity.

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See also:

05 Mar 01 | Scotland
Woman assaulted by darts champ
03 Jan 01 | Other Sports
Faultless Taylor powers to ninth title
02 Jan 01 | Other Sports
Part challenge for Taylor
01 Jan 01 | Other Sports
Taylor turns on the power
30 Dec 00 | New Year Honours
MBE glory for The Power
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