UNITED KINGDOM

Former radio disc jockey Dave Lee Travis tells London court of ‘fears over false sex claims’

Broadcaster tells jury he had ‘fallen once or twice’ for women during his career but insists encounters were ‘rare and entirely consensual’

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 January, 2014, 2:33pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 January, 2014, 2:33pm

British former disc jockey Dave Lee Travis on Tuesday told a court in London he believed false sexual charges levelled against him make it less likely that women who have genuinely been attacked will be believed in the future.

Giving evidence for a second day, Travis, aged 68 whose real name David Patrick Griffin, admitted he had “fallen once or twice” at the height of his fame and given way to advances from women, but said any such encounters were rare and entirely consensual.

Travis, once a DJ on national station Radio 1, was being led by his defence counsel, Stephen Vullo, through more of the 13 counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault he faces, covering more than 30 years, all of which he denies.

“I don’t like the idea of assaulting women in any way, shape or form,” Travis told Southwark crown court in London. “The one thing that’s been going through my mind since this trial started is that I’m sorry about this trial being the way it is.

“I know this is only a lot of nonsense. I just feel that the women who really have been attacked, women who have been at home and been through mental abuse by their husbands or beaten up by anybody else or really attacked – because this has been going on with me – it makes it less likely that real problems are going to be looked at. And that upsets me.”

Travis dismissed as “insane” the idea that he assaulted a teenage audience member on television music show Top of the Pops in 1978 as he introduced the Smurfs. “You are surrounded by camera crews and an audience,” he said. “That is not a good move for a career.”

He added: “If I had been caught doing that, I would have thought the book would have been thrown at me and I might have been out of the BBC.”

Asked about an incident in which he is accused of groping a British Airways worker at a Christmas party in the 1980s as she sat on his lap surrounded by BA bosses, Travis said: “Am I allowed to just laugh?”

When asked by Vullo about claims he assaulted a female stage hand at a pantomime he was in during the early 1990s, Travis said he would be at great risk if she complained: “You are never too big in this industry. You can be knocked over very quickly. And I don’t believe in taking risks with my business. And I don’t believe in attacking young girls.”