Dave Lee Travis trial hears details about alleged assaults

Thursday 16 January 2014 20.15
Dave Lee Travis is accused of 13 counts of sexual assault
Dave Lee Travis is accused of 13 counts of sexual assault

A radio announcer allegedly assaulted by DJ Dave Lee Travis as she introduced BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour believed senior managers at the broadcaster would have told her to "live with it" had she complained, a court heard.

Mr Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, is charged with 13 counts of indecent assault dating back to between 1976 and 2003, and one count of sexual assault in 2008.

The 68-year-old, from Buckinghamshire, is accused of assaulting 11 women, one of whom was 15 at the time of the alleged crime.

He denies all the charges.

The woman, who cannot be named, told a jury she was in a "panic" when Mr Travis allegedly grabbed her breasts as she went live on air to introduce the programme in the early 1980s.

She told jurors at Southwark Crown Court she did not tell her bosses about the alleged incident "due to the climate at the time" and because Mr Travis was "a big star" at Radio 1.

Another alleged victim said managers at a radio station which Mr Travis later worked at "were 100% aware" of complaints about him from female staff.

Giving evidence behind a curtain, the first witness, the former BBC Radio 4 announcer, said she was assaulted by Mr Travis after he walked into the studio she was in as she was about to go on air.

The woman, who was in her 20s at the time, said the veteran DJ sat down behind her as she read out the time, when she felt him standing behind her.

"His hands came round under my arm pits and he put one hand on each breast," she said. 

The woman told the court Travis held her breasts throughout her announcement which lasted about 10 seconds.

Asked by prosecutor Miranda Moore QC how she felt at the time, she replied: "Well I imagine there was a feeling of sort of panic.

"Radio 4 is a very serious network. I was making a serious announcement. I was just frightened I was going to mess up the announcement."

The alleged victim said Mr Travis sat down after the incident "as if nothing had happened".

She said due to "the climate at the time", she believed she would be told "to live with it" had she  reported the incident to management.

"There was no way I was going to start telling off this big star of Radio 1," she said. "If I had gone to the management, I imagine it would have been 'so what?! You're a big girl, deal with it."'

"I believe he (Travis) thought it was a prank," she added.

"I don't believe I saw it as sexual at the time."

During cross-examination, Stephen Vullo, defending Mr Travis, said his client denied any knowledge of the incident.

Interfering with a Radio 4 announcement would have had "serious consequences" and would have prompted an inquiry, he said.

A second alleged victim, who worked with Travis in the premises of Chiltern Radio at the turn of the millennium, told the court that women "kept their heads down" whenever Mr Travis entered their office.

The woman, who was in her 20s at the time, recalled three specific incidents where Mr Travis is alleged to have abused her.

She said she was assaulted on her first day working in the same building as the defendant, when they were introduced and he hugged her tightly and touched her, the court heard.

The witness said senior managers "were 100% aware" of Mr Travis' alleged behaviour, and that the latest incident prompted him to be banned from the office where the complainant was working.

Donald Douglas, a network programme controller for Classic Gold radio - which shared premises in Dunstable with Chiltern Radio - said he knew of a single complaint against the veteran DJ, but he was not aware of a "campaign of sexual assaults" when asked by Mr Vullo.

A fourth witness, who worked at Chiltern Radio at the time of Travis's alleged offending, said the DJ was "lechy...with his hands".

The witness, who gave her evidence behind a curtain, said she felt "incredibly uncomfortable" when she was near Travis.

"He could not keep his hands off," she said.

The trial, which is due to last up to six weeks, was adjourned until tomorrow.

Keywords: dave lee travis