herald

Monday 23 October 2017

DJ Travis felt he had the right to grope, retrial told

Veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis was an "opportunist" who acted as if he had the "perfect right" to grope young women, jurors in his retrial have been told.

Travis, who is standing trial on three charges, inappropiately touched women who were "many years" younger than him over a period of more than 20 years, London's Southwark Crown Court heard.

The former Radio 1 DJ, who is charged under his real name of David Griffin, faces a retrial on two counts - one of indecent assault of a woman between November 1 1990 and January 31, 1991, and another of sexual assault on a different woman between June 1 2008 and November 30, 2008 - on which a jury was unable to reach verdicts at a trial earlier this year.

Plea

He has also pleaded not guilty to an additional count of indecent assault alleged to have taken place on January 17, 1995.

Opening the prosecution case, Miranda Moore QC told the jury of six men and six women that the airing of a television expose on Jimmy Savile in 2012 had prompted a number of women to come forward to Operation Yewtree - the investigation set up in the wake of the Savile scandal - about Travis.

She said the allegations spanned a period from 1985 to 2008 and were alleged to have taken place when Travis was working as a DJ or entertainer, such as starring in a pantomime, or as a guest celebrity, or in his own home while he was being interviewed.

Outlining the allegations, Ms Moore said the first charge related to a woman who was working on a production of Aladdin in which Travis was starring. The woman claimed that the DJ assaulted her while they were alone in his dressing room, holding the door closed as he put his hand inside her trousers.

She managed to prise open the door to the corridor - where comedy stars the Chuckle Brothers were standing - and escaped, later telling co-workers on the production.

The second charge relates to an alleged assault by Travis on a young woman working on the Mrs Merton Show.

Ms Moore said Travis approached the woman in the corridor where she was smoking, commenting on her "poor little lungs", then put his hands on her chest for at least 10-15 seconds until she backed away.

In a third count, Travis is alleged to have groped a female journalist when she went to his home to interview him.

He touched her chest, holding his hands there for several seconds, the court heard.

Career

She later told her flatmates and her mother but did not take it any further because she did not want to jeopardise her career, Ms Moore said.

The prosecutor also outlined claims from two other women - to which charges are not related.

One woman claimed she was assaulted by Travis as she served him drinks at a venue on the Isle of Man, when he pinned her against a wall and put one hand on her chest and one between her legs.

Another woman, also a journalist, claims that Travis assaulted her while she was at his house to interview him.

Travis, who was arrested in October 2012, denies all of the incidents, jurors heard.

hnews@herald.ie

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