VETERAN DJ Dave Lee Travis was an “opportunist” who acted as if he had the “perfect right” to grope young women, jurors in his retrial have been told.
Travis, who is standing trial on three charges, inappropriately touched women who were “many years” younger than him over a period of more than 20 years, London’s Southwark Crown Court heard.
The former Radio 1 DJ, who is charged under his real name of David Griffin, faces a retrial on two counts – one of indecent assault of a woman between 1990 and 1991, and another of sexual assault on a different woman in 2008. A jury was unable to reach verdicts on the charges at a trial earlier this year.
He has also pleaded not guilty to an additional count of indecent assault alleged to have taken place in 1995.
Opening the prosecution case yesterday, Miranda Moore QC told the jury of six men and six women that the airing of a television expose on Jimmy Savile in 2012 had prompted a number of women to come forward to Operation Yewtree – the investigation set up in the wake of the Savile scandal – about Travis.
She said the allegations dated from 1985 to 2008 and were alleged to have taken place when Travis was working as a DJ or entertainer, such as starring in a pantomime, or as a guest celebrity, or in his home while he was being interviewed.
Ms Moore said the jury would hear from three women to whom the three charges relate, but also two others who would describe similar alleged
She said: “We say he has a propensity towards laying his hands in a sexual manner on young women who are alone with him, or in vulnerable positions. He is an opportunist.”
Ms Moore added: “Generally speaking, you will hear evidence that the ladies concerned were in their early 20s, with this defendant being older by many years when it happened, probably 20 years-plus.
“The defendant, according to these ladies, simply seemed to act as if he had a perfect right to touch their breasts or put his hands in their clothing to grope them.”
She said the women were left embarrassed and shocked and, while they had not told police amid concerns that Travis was a celebrity, all had confided in other people at the time.
Outlining the allegations, Ms Moore said the first charge related to a woman who was working on a production of Aladdin in which Travis was starring.
The woman claimed that the DJ assaulted her while they were alone in his dressing room, holding the door closed as he put his hand inside her trousers.
She managed to prise open the door to the corridor – where comedy stars the Chuckle Brothers were standing – and escaped, later telling co-workers on the production.
The second charge relates to an alleged assault by Travis on a young woman working on the Mrs Merton Show.
Ms Moore said Travis approached the woman in the corridor where she was smoking, commenting on her “poor little lungs”, then put his hands on her chest for at least 10-15 seconds until she backed away.
The alleged victim’s first thought was, “Oh my god, Dave Lee Travis has got his hands on my breasts”, the court heard.
She was “mildly hysterical” at the time she told a colleague, the court heard, and the pair ended up laughing about “the absurdity of the situation”.
In a third count, Travis is alleged to have groped a female journalist when she went to his home to interview him. He touched her chest, holding his hands there for several seconds, the court heard.
She later told her flatmates and her mother but did not take it any further because she did not want to jeopardise her career, Ms Moore said.
Travis denies all the charges. The trial continues.