Saturday 25 November 2017

Woman tells court she 'wept after Dave Lee Travis assault'

DJ Dave Lee Travis leaving Southwark Crown Court, London, where he is accused of a series of indecent assaults and one sexual assault.
DJ Dave Lee Travis leaving Southwark Crown Court, London, where he is accused of a series of indecent assaults and one sexual assault.

David Mercer and Ryan Hooper, Press Association

A junior radio worker wept in the toilets moments after her "grandad"-like colleague, veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis, launched a "horrible" assault on her, a court heard.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was "gutted" when the former Radio One presenter groped her after allegedly hugging her from behind and blowing a raspberry on her face.

The alleged victim told London's Southwark Crown Court that she ran to the toilet and had tears in her eyes after the incident.

She said: "He came in and came up behind me and hugged me from behind and blew a raspberry on my face.

"It was just a bit too close. But then his hand was on that bit of your tummy below your belly button.

"No-one ever touches you there, it is quite personal. When he did that I kind of went to shrug him off."

The witness said that as Travis, real name David Griffin, went to move his hands away, he did so "deliberately and brushed over my breast".

She said she went to the toilet and thought: "Your eyes have filled up with tears."

She added: "I felt really weird. I was confused because I knew it felt horrible."

The woman said she initially saw him as a "friendly grandad-type", who gave bear hugs.

But the woman, who was in her 20s when she worked at Chiltern Radio in the same building as Classic Radio DJ Travis, said her opinion of him changed after the alleged assault.

She said: "I knew who he was because my dad was a big fan. That's why I knew who he was.

"I pretty much avoided him after that (alleged assault)."

Travis, from Buckinghamshire, is charged with 13 counts of indecent assault dating back to between 1976 and 2003.

He is also charged with one count of sexual assault, in 2008.

He denies all charges.

Yesterday, women gave evidence anonymously - behind a curtain and out of Travis's view - when they spoke of his "lechy" behaviour, wandering hands, and "strong, old" cologne.

One witness, a former announcer for BBC Radio 4, recalled how Travis fondled her breasts while she was making a live announcement for its flagship Women's Hour show.

Another recalled apparently having to be separated from the defendant after she called him a pervert following an alleged assault.

The alleged offending includes when Travis was working as a BBC DJ, as a broadcaster with Classic Gold radio, while appearing on Top Of The Pops, and when starring in panto.

The woman said her boyfriend was "very angry" when she told him about the alleged assault after work.

She told the court she could remember another incident when a female colleague had shouted at Travis after he allegedly put his hand up her skirt.

The witness said she could recall one other occasion when Travis returned to the office and appeared "really angry".

She told the jury: "I remember him saying 'Look at (the witness's name). She can't even look me. You've turned her against me.'

"I think he stopped coming into (the office she worked in) after that."

The witness said she did not complain at the time because she found the alleged assault "very embarrassing".

"I think you're always not sure if something is bad or not," she said.

"It was my first job. I was young. I enjoyed my job. I didn't want that kind of discussion to happen."

Stephen Vullo, defending Travis, asked whether the alleged touching could have been an "accident".

"It didn't feel like an accident," she replied.

Mr Vullo told the court that Travis did not remember the alleged incident.

The witness denied suggestions from Mr Vullo that she had "merged" her police statement and account of that incident with the alleged victim of the desk attack in the skirt.

The latter gave evidence yesterday, and told the court she and today's witness were close friends who had pledged to support each other.

Asked about the discrepancies between her account in court and the police statement, the woman said: "I have obviously thought about this non-stop until today so something may have come clear to me today."

She said her account was "improving" - but denied Mr Vullo's suggestion that this meant chiming further with her female colleague, instead saying it was "honest".

She said she had not spoken to the other woman since the police case had started.

Earlier, Chiltern Radio employee Simon Cliffe told the court he was aware one of the alleged victims who worked at the station felt "uncomfortable" around Travis but only knew of one formal complaint.

Asked by Mr Vullo, defending Travis, whether the complaint was because his client had been "overly tactile", he replied: "It was probably stronger than that.

"Maybe an invasion of privacy or an invasion of space."

Mr Vullo asked whether Travis was "well-liked" at the station.

Mr Cliffe replied: "I think he was well respected.

"He was quite a bubbly personality. There were some who liked him, yes."

Travis's former managing director at Classic Gold, Colin Wilshire said he was aware of a complaint about the DJ by a female member of staff.

Referring to his former colleague as DLT through the testimony, Mr Wilshire said a woman complained that Travis "touched her on the leg... legs".

He said Travis was told to "stay away" from the woman and her office.

Mr Wilshire said a complaint against Travis was raised at a board meeting. But no "mark" was left on his HR file, he said.

Mr Wilshire said he did not speak to the witness but called the veteran DJ into his office and explained the complaint.

He told the court: "At first he didn't seem to know what I was referring to, but when I was more specific about the incident...

"There was a moment of understanding. He realised what I was talking about."

Mr Wilshire said Travis replied that he "didn't intend to upset her" and that "wasn't his intention"

However, Travis immediately appeared to dismiss orders not to enter the alleged victim's office, the court heard.

Mr Wilshire said: "I closed my door (after speaking with Travis initially), and probably three or five minutes later Simon Cliffe came bursting into my office, extremely antagonised, because DLT had gone into the office, approached (the alleged victim) and she got extremely upset by it."

The witness said Travis "probably wanted to talk with" the alleged victim.

Mr Wilshire said: "I hauled him (Travis) back into my office and said: 'I need to talk to you about this'.

"I wanted to make sure he understood what was going on. He had clearly not listened to what I wanted him to do.

"I actually just wanted him to go home at that point because there was a lot of anger.

"He was flustered, he was very angry."

Travis was ordered to go home for the day, the court heard.

Questioned by Mr Vullo, Mr Wilshire said Travis had left Classic Gold following "artistic differences" over playlists and his shifts, and not due to the complaint from a female colleague.

Asked whether a complaint would not be acted on because Travis was "a big star", Mr Wilshire replied: "He wasn't bigger than the radio station."

Mr Wilshire said he did not perceive the complaint as being "an allegation of serious sexual assault" at the time.

Mr Vullo asked Mr Wilshire how the prosecution's description of Travis as a "determined sexual predator" compared with the man he knew.

"It was at odds with how I thought he behaved generally," he said.

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