Travis trial: Carnival princess assault 'didn't happen'

Dave Lee Travis arriving at court on 29 January Mr Travis told Southwark Crown Court the claims against him made him "as mad as hell"

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DJ Dave Lee Travis has told a court that an alleged assault against a 19-year-old deputy carnival princess "just didn't happen".

Mr Travis, 68, told Southwark Crown Court that he was "never alone" with the woman at the opening of a hospital radio station in the early 1970s.

The former Radio One DJ said his wife, Marianne, was present at the event and denied that he had groped the teenager.

Mr Travis denies 13 counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.

The court was shown a video recording of Mr Travis and his entourage attending the event at Hertford County Hospital in 1973.

In sections of the hour-long footage, Mr Travis posed for photographs with the carnival princess and her deputy, telling them in the video: "Put your arms around my neck girls, go on."

He is then seen crouching down between the teenagers with his head at their chest height before picking one of them up and swinging her in his arms.

Asked about the deputy carnival princess's claims that he groped her while he was alone with her, Mr Travis, of Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, said: "I don't know what I can say to that.

"All I can say is that, no, it didn't happen. I was never alone with this woman."

He said there were a lot of people with him "from start to finish", adding: "My wife was there, for goodness' sake.

"I'm not going to ask the question 'Why would I?' It just didn't happen."

'Sex symbol'

During cross-examination, Mr Travis said the claims against him had made him "as mad as hell".

He said it was "absolutely 100% wrong" to suggest he thought touching women in the ways alleged had been acceptable.

Mr Travis was asked whether he had been "tempted" when he worked surrounded by young women.

Miranda Moore QC, for the prosecution, asked if he had told police: "When you work in a sweet shop, you don't eat the sweets."

Mr Travis admitted that he had on occasion fallen to "temptation" but said that it was unfair for his sex life to be "dragged into the public arena".

"I don't expect consensual sex or consensual kissing to be brought up in a case where I am accused of indecently assaulting women," he said.

Ms Moore asked whether Travis thought of himself as a "sex symbol" during his career as a radio personality.

Mr Travis replied: "I have never said, in my life, that I am a sex symbol. No, I am a big hairy, cuddly bear."

He added that he had "no idea" why 16 women had come forward to make complaints against him.

"I didn't say I loved women's bodies," he said, of reports about his attitude to women. "I said I loved women generally."

Mr Travis added: "If patting somebody's bottom was a crime in the 1970s then half the country would be in jail by then I suppose."

When asked about claims that he assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a Showaddywaddy concert in 1978, he told jurors it was "some form of fabrication - it did not happen."

He said the teenager could have made it up "for a million reasons", and suggested his alleged victims could have invented their claims to spite him because he had not signed autographs for them.

Mr Travis, who is being tried under his real name David Patrick Griffin, admitted he may have "irritated" some women.

The trial continues.

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