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Dave Lee Travis not guilty of indecent assaults

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  • by RORY REYNOLDS
 

FORMER Top of the Pops presenter Dave Lee Travis said he has been through “a year-and-a- half of hell” after being found not guilty of a dozen indecent assault charges yesterday.

A jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court cleared him of 12 charges, but failed to reach verdicts on two others. There will be a further hearing on 24 February to decide whether to have a retrial for those two counts.

Speaking outside the court, a sombre Travis, 68, said the case had cost him his reputation along with so much money that he has had to sell his house in Buckinghamshire.

Flanked by Marianne, his Swedish wife of more than 40 years, Travis said he did not see the verdicts as a “victory”.

He told reporters outside court: “Basically, first of all, I’m not over the moon about any of this today.

“I don’t feel like there’s a victory in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, I think you already know that I have been through a year-and-a-half of hell on this.”

He went on to say that he felt he had been through two trials.

“I have had one trial by media and one trial by Crown Court,” he said. “And I have to say, in all honesty, that I prefer trial by the by Crown Court.

“All I want to do now is go home and relax with my wife who’s also been suffering through all this with me and been by my side all the time.”

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for around 20 hours after the four-week trial in which Travis was accused of indecently assaulting ten women and sexually assaulting another in alleged incidents dating back to 1976 when he was at the height of his fame.

Prosecutors alleged that Travis was an “opportunist” who assaulted “vulnerable” young women while working at the BBC and commercial radio stations.

Jurors failed to reach verdicts on the alleged indecent assault of a woman working on a pantomime in the early 1990s, along with an alleged sexual assault on a journalist who interviewed him at his home in 2008.

Jurors cleared him of groping a teenager in his Radio 1 studio in the 1970s, a 15-year-old girl at a Showaddywaddy concert in 1978, and a teenage music fan during an episode of Top of the Pops in 1978.

He was also found not guilty of grabbing the breasts of a Radio 4 announcer in the early 1980s, and assaulting a teenager in his motorhome at a gig in 1983, and a young hotel worker in Bude, Cornwall, in 1984.

The other charges he was cleared of were two counts of assaulting a British Airways worker in the 1990s and four that related to two women he worked with when he had a slot on Classic Gold radio in the early 2000s.

Travis – on trial under his birth name David Griffin – told jurors that he was not a “sexual predator” and the claims against him were “nonsensical”.

“I do not have a predatory nature with women, I have a cuddly nature. Maybe that’s what this is all about, but I am not predatory,” he said.

The defendant was supported by a host of defence witnesses during the case.

Detective Chief Superintendent Keith Niven, who is leading Operation Yewtree, refused to answer when asked if he believed there had been a “witchhunt”.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “The CPS is now considering whether a retrial will take place and so it would be inappropriate to comment further while proceedings are still active.”

 

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