herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

DJ guilty of groping TV personality in BBC studio

Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has been found guilty of groping a female TV personality.

The ex-Top Of The Pops presenter was convicted by the jury at London's Southwark Crown Court by a majority of 10 to two.

Travis (69) was found guilty of indecent assault on the woman, who was working on the Mrs Merton Show, on January 17, 1995.

He was cleared on a second indecent assault charge and the jury was discharged after it was unable to agree a verdict on a count of sexual assault.

Travis, who became a household name in the 1970s, faced a retrial after jurors failed to reach verdicts on those two charges earlier this year.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC warned the former radio star that he was looking at "all options" when he considered his sentence.

Wearing dark grey trousers and a light grey blazer, Travis stared straight ahead with a stony expression and held his hands in front of him as the verdicts were read out.

He glanced over his shoulder at his wife ,Marianne, who was sitting at the back of court, before sitting down.

Travis's victim told the court during the trial that he got a "weird sexual thrill" as he indecently assaulted her.

Squeezed

She said Travis approached her in the corridor of a BBC television studio where she was smoking and commented on her "poor little lungs" before he squeezed her breasts.

The woman, who was working as part of the production crew in Manchester, said the assault was "unbelievably weird" and he had an "intense stare" during the incident.

She said she "froze" as she was pinned against the wall by Travis before he let go of her breasts after 10 to 15 seconds.

The woman, who was in her early 20s at the time of the incident, said she did not make an official complaint or contact police at the time because she was young and did not want to make a "fuss".

She gave evidence without a screen, in view of Travis in the dock, and said she had spoken in public since about the assault.

Comedian Dave Gorman, who was a writer on the show, said he remembered hearing about the incident and that it was "aggressive" and not a Carry On-style "playful" act.

"My recollection was everyone in the team would have known," he said.

"This was office gossip to some extent."

He added: "I recall discussions and questions about whether it had been a sort of 'Carry On film wahey', which might be playful albeit ill-judged, or whether it was aggressive.

"My recollection was it was aggressive."

Sentencing was adjourned until Friday morning.

hnews@herald.ie

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