Dave Lee Travis: Woman ‘in panic at groping’

Accused Dave Lee Travis arrives at the court yesterday. Picture: Getty
Accused Dave Lee Travis arrives at the court yesterday. Picture: Getty
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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.

The woman, who cannot be named, told a jury she was in a “panic” when 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 Travis was “a big star” at Radio 1.

Another alleged victim said managers at a radio station at which Travis later worked “were 100 per cent 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 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. “His hands came round under my arm pits and he put one hand on each breast,” she said. “He started to move my breasts up and down.”

The woman told the court Travis held her breasts throughout her announcement which lasted about ten 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 Travis sat down after the incident “as if nothing had happened”.

She said because of “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.”

She told the jury that other Radio 1 DJs, including the late John Peel, would also enter the studio during Radio 4 announcements but it was never reported to management.

During cross-examination, Stephen Vullo, defending 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.

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.