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.”

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

Former BBC DJ Dave Lee Travis 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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea