Dave Lee Travis retrial: DJ was a 'sexual opportunist' who thought he had 'right' to grope women, court hears

The former Radio 1 presenter is undergoing a retrial and denies all charges

Dave Lee Travis was a “sexual opportunist” who acted as if he had the “perfect right” to grope young women, a court has heard as the DJ’s retrial begins.

A jury was unable to reach a verdict on one charge of indecent assault between November 1990 and January 1991, and another of sexual assault on a different woman between June and November 2008, earlier this year.

The 69-year-old former Radio 1 DJ inappropriately touched several women who were “many years” younger than him over more than two decades, a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court heard on Friday.

Travis has pleaded not guilty to all charges, as well as an additional count of indecent assault in 1995.

The veteran DJ was arrested during Operation Yewtree in 2012, when investigators received several complaints about him following revelations about Jimmy Savile’s child abuse.

Miranda Moore QC, acting for the prosecution, said the allegations against him spanned a period from 1985 to 2008, allegedly when he was working as a DJ or entertainer in a pantomime, television show and during an interview with a journalist at his home.

“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,” she added.

“He is an opportunist.”

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BBC Radio 1 presenter Dave Lee Travis in his studio at Broadcasting House, London, 14 January 1980.

Although the charges only relate to three women, two others are being called as witnesses to describe similar alleged incidents.

Ms Moore said: “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 claimed the women felt “upset, embarrassed, shocked” and unsure what to do because of Travis' celebrity status and their younger age.

The first charge relates to a woman in her 20s who was working on a production of Aladdin in which Travis was starring.

She claimed 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 escape, the court heard.

The second charge relates to an alleged assault by Travis on a young woman working on the Mrs Merton Show, who claims he put his hands on her chest for at least 10-15 seconds until she backed away.

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Former BBC DJ Dave Lee Travis

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 and held 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.

Another woman, to whom the charges do not relate, alleged she was sexually assaulted by Travis as she served him drinks at a venue on the Isle of Man, when he pinned her against a wall and put one hand on her chest and one between her legs.

She told a security guard, and later her husband, but both told her Travis was “just messing about”, Ms Moore said.

Another woman, also a journalist, claimed that Travis assaulted her while she was at his house to interview him by groping her chest after offering to take a picture of her in a bikini.

When her train pulled out of the station near the DJ’s home, she said: “The enormity of what had happened hit me and I suddenly felt very depressed and very lonely and exploited.”

She was dissuaded from telling the police by her mother and because she did not want to jeopardise her career.

Travis, who denies all charges, dismissed the allegations as "utter nonsense".

The trail continues.

Additional reporting by PA