Dave Lee Travis tells court he is 'cuddly' not 'predatory'

Court sketch of Dave Lee Travis (27/1/14) Dave Lee Travis told the court he was tactile but not a sexual predator

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DJ Dave Lee Travis has told a court he does not have a "predatory nature".

Giving evidence at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Travis said: "What I have is a cuddly nature with women. So maybe that's what this is all about."

He dismissed claims that he was a sexual predator as "nonsensical", but said he was tactile and that if he liked someone he would hug them.

The former BBC DJ, 68, of Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, denies sexual assault and 13 counts of indecent assault.

Mr Travis is accused of indecently assaulting 10 women and sexually assaulting another.

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Nowadays you are not allowed to... put your arms around people and hug them”

End Quote Dave Lee Travis

Mr Travis told the court: "Perhaps hugging is something which can be misconstrued by some people or if people are looking for an excuse they can say 'he touched us'."

He added: "If I really like somebody I will put my arm around them and I might give them a peck on the cheek, I even do that with men, to make them feel comfortable and welcome to the place.

"But nowadays you are not allowed to do that, put your arms around people and hug them."

Mr Travis told the trial he cannot recall being in a studio with a Radio 4 announcer who claims he grabbed her breasts in the early 1980s.

She was described as a "nice lady" who was "always a bit of fun" by Mr Travis. He said he did not "get" her allegation.

Mr Travis also said he might have accidentally touched the knee of a female journalist at Chiltern Radio but had not sexually assaulted her.

'Golden years'

The jury heard Mr Travis took nude and semi-nude shots of women but he denied such photographs were "tacky", adding that he was a fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photographers.

Dave Lee Travis arriving at court on Monday Mr Travis told the court he had no previous convictions or cautions

Mr Travis told the court that before his November 2012 arrest he had never been arrested and had no police cautions or convictions.

Working at Radio 1 in the late 60s and early 70s was "so much fun" said Mr Travis, describing the period as "the golden years".

Answering questions from defence barrister Stephen Vullo on Jimmy Savile, who also worked at the station, Mr Travis said: "I, like other people, did think 'he seems to like young girls'.

"He was always surrounded by girls and by that I mean girls of 16, 17, 18. But I don't think that anyone knew what was going on as far as him being a paedophile.

"In all honesty, if I had known that Jimmy Savile was a paedophile I would have been the first to get him arrested because it is the worst crime in the world as far as I am concerned."

'Full of anger'

Earlier, the court heard that, in an interview with police on 18 September, Mr Travis - also known as DLT - dismissed the claims against him as "crap".

Junior prosecutor Teresa Hay said Mr Travis had claimed the allegations were "costing him his job, his living and everything he has built up over 50 years".

She added that he told police: "People might think he is a millionaire but his bank account is non-existent.

"His life has changed for the worse and he is full of anger. Even if he is acquitted he still won't be free."

Mr Travis also told police he "has been screwed backwards" and was selling his house to pay his legal bills, the court heard.

Ms Hay said Mr Travis told police about one person who made allegations against him: "This is just someone else who can smell money and is jumping into the game to see what they can get out of it."

The offences of which Mr Travis is accused allegedly took place while he was working as a BBC radio DJ, on Classic Gold radio, on BBC One's Top Of The Pops, and in pantomime.

Mr Travis, being tried under his real name David Patrick Griffin, will continue giving evidence on Tuesday.

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