Dave Lee Travis trial: former DJ said he was 'screwed' by allegations

The former BBC presenter told police he questioned why alleged victims "waited 20 years to come out" with claims

Alex Diaz,Martha Linden
Monday 27 January 2014 16:55
Former radio presenter Dave Lee Travis arrives at court.
Former radio presenter Dave Lee Travis arrives at court.

Dave Lee Travis complained that he had been “screwed backwards” by sex abuse allegations while his wife suffered breast cancer, jurors at London's Southwark Crown Court heard on Monday.

The veteran DJ and broadcaster told police he had lost “work, money and health” due to the claims.

Travis, who is on trial accused of indecently assaulting 10 women and sexually assaulting another, described the claims as “crap” during a police interview on 18 September last year.

Junior prosecutor Teresa Hay said: “Mr Travis said that for 10 months he had lost his money, work, his health, he has had back and knee operations and had suffered stress.

"Worse still, his wife had suffered breast cancer. She was through it now but stress is bad for someone who is going through that.

"He and his wife had suffered badly," she added.

She told the court that Travis had said his accuser was “out to make money” and had asked: “why wait 20 years until it comes out in one-sided press coverage?”

Ms Hay said Travis, told police: “He has been screwed backwards - he is selling his house to pay for solicitors and barristers.

"People might think he is a millionaire but his bank account is non-existent," she said.

His alleged offences include when he was working as a BBC DJ, as a broadcaster with Classic Gold radio, while appearing on Top Of The Pops, and when starring in panto.

The jury heard that Travis was questioned in relation to allegations that he groped a woman while dancing the Lambada at two British Airways parties in the early 1990s.

He told police he would provide musical entertainment or act as compere at such parties, dressed as a werewolf or Darth Vader, but could not remember those events in particular.

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

Asked about claims that he had told the woman she had “won the keys to his room,” he claimed it was not the type of thing he would say.

Travis also told police that he had “great sympathy” with rape victims and had been involved in attempts to stop it in his work for children charities.

“But he didn't see the similarity between this and grabbing a girl's bum in a dance,” Ms Hay said.

Later, a journalist told the jury she had interviewed Travis at his house.

The woman said Travis told her over lunch that playing flight simulator games was one of his hobbies.

He offered to show her the games on the computer, she told the court.

“I am not very interested in flight simulators but that was when he put his, I believe, right hand - I didn't see it - his hand behind me on my shoulders and ran it down my back and rested it on the right cheek of my bum.”

She said she “very quickly” moved to her left in a “matter of seconds,” adding: “I was completely taken aback, it was just unexpected, I felt it was sleazy”.

She added that she was also "really embarrassed for him at this kind of behaviour because it was just completely inappropriate".

The woman added that she had not spoken to the police at the time of the alleged incident but had made a statement after her partner had rung to tell her of Travis's arrest.

The 68-year-old from Buckinghamshire, denies 13 indecent assaults and one sexual assault, dating back to 1976 at the height of his fame.

The case continues.