Wednesday 25 April 2018

'Mortified' Dave Lee Travis spared prison in indecent sex assault verdict

Former Radio 1 DJ, Dave Lee Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, leaves Southwark Crown Court in London. Reuters
Former Radio 1 DJ, Dave Lee Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, leaves Southwark Crown Court in London. Reuters
Dave Lee Travis with Lyndsey De Paul. Photo: PA
Dave Lee Travis outside court yesterday.

Martin Evans

Former Top of the Pops star Dave Lee Travis has been sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, following his conviction for indecent assault.

The 69-year-old ex-Radio One presenter was found guilty earlier this week of groping a young TV researcher, who was working on The Mrs Merton Show in the mid-1990s.

London's Southwark Crown Court had heard Travis got a "weird sexual thrill" when he indecently assaulted the woman, who is now a successful TV personality.

Travis cornered the woman in a corridor outside his dressing room where she was smoking and commented on her "poor little lungs" before squeezing her breasts for 10 to 15 seconds.

Sentencing Travis, Judge Anthony Leonard QC said: "It was an intentional and unpleasant sexual assault. You took advantage of a young woman in a vulnerable position whose job it was to look after you that day."

After being handed a suspended prison sentence, Travis glanced at the floor and replied: "Thank you, your honour."

Marianne, Travis's wife of more than 40 years, hugged a friend in the public gallery after the judge delivered his sentence.

Outside court Travis said he was "mortified" and "really disappointed" by his conviction. Travis was first arrested in October 2012 under Operation Yewtree, Scotland Yard's investigation into historic sexual abuse in the wake of allegations against the late DJ Jimmy Savile.

Addressing Travis, Judge Leonard said the DJ's offence was of a "different order" to other high-profile convictions under Operation Yewtree. He said: "Whilst the commission of any indecent assault is serious and reprehensible, the scale and nature of the offences of which Stuart Hall and other defendants who have been successfully prosecuted under Operation Yewtree and have been sentenced are of a different order of magnitude to the single offence of which you have been convicted."

Travis, who became a household name in Britain in the 1970s, was found not guilty 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.

He faced a retrial after jurors failed to reach verdicts on those two charges earlier this year. He was cleared of 12 counts of indecent assault at his original trial in February.

Moments before the judge arrived in court for the sentencing, Travis demanded that Sunday Times journalist Camilla Long move from the public gallery behind the dock.

Ms Long wrote an article in 2012 in which she claimed she had been groped by the DJ during an interview. Travis said: "You're making me uncomfortable. Get where you should be - in the press gallery."

When Ms Long replied that there were no seats available, Travis turned to the packed press gallery and said: "Anybody want to give her a seat?"

Following the sentencing, Scotland Yard's Detective Chief Inspector Michael Orchard, said: "As the court has heard, the victim in this case was forced to relive her ordeal by Travis who refused to admit his guilt."

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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