Dave Lee Travis found guilty of indecent assault

Image source, AP
Image caption,
Travis was granted bail ahead of his sentencing on Friday

Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has been found guilty of indecently assaulting a researcher working on TV's Mrs Merton Show in 1995.

A Southwark Crown Court jury convicted him by a majority verdict of 10-2.

He was found not guilty of indecently assaulting a woman while he was appearing in a production of Aladdin in 1990.

Travis, who left the court with his wife Marianne after being granted bail, will be sentenced on Friday.

He was cleared of a further charge of sexually assaulting a journalist after the jury failed to reach a verdict.

Travis was cleared of the two charges he was being retried for after a jury was unable to reach verdicts at an earlier trial.

He had been cleared of 12 other indecent assault allegations at that trial.

The prosecution introduced a further charge ahead of the retrial and, on Tuesday, the court found him guilty of this offence.

'Charming' persona

The 69-year-old, who was tried under his real name David Griffin, appeared on BBC Radio 1 for more than 25 years until 1993 and was a regular host of Top of the Pops.

Prosecutors described him as an "opportunist" and said his "charming and cuddly" persona was no defence for his actions.

Sophie Wood, defending, told the judge she would "seek to persuade" him that Travis should be given a non-custodial community order sentence.

But Judge Anthony Leonard QC told Travis: "You must understand that all my options remain open in relation to sentencing."

Travis replied: "I understand. Thank you, your honour."

In court

Danny Shaw, BBC News

Image source, julia quenzler

Dave Lee Travis had to wait a long time to learn his fate.

Almost two years since his arrest, eight months since the first trial and four days since this jury began their deliberations.

The strain was etched on his face as he entered the dock at 14:15 BST this afternoon.

He stood as the jury forewoman delivered the verdicts.

Not guilty on the first count. Guilty on the second. Unable to agree on the third.

But it was only the second count that really mattered.

The man with the soothing voice, patter and quick wit seemed lost for words and walked out of the courtroom alone, stunned.

His wife Marianne, who'd been sitting grim-faced in the public gallery behind him, put an arm round his waist.

But it was little consolation.

'Left shaking'

The jury of six men and six women found him guilty of indecently assaulting a woman on 17 January 1995, while she was working on the BBC's comedy chat programme the Mrs Merton Show.

She had told the court she was left "shaking" after the incident.

Giving evidence, the woman - now a television personality - said she was 22 when Travis approached her as she was smoking a cigarette in a corridor of the BBC studios in Manchester.

Travis, a guest on the programme, told her she "shouldn't be smoking" and gave her a "squeezing grope", she said.

"He started touching the bottom of my rib cage. Without saying anything else he just slid his hands up to and over my breasts and then kind of left them there and started squeezing," she added.

She told the court: "I absolutely knew he had some weird sexual thrill from this. I felt like I'd been punched, that feeling of being violated."

In court, Travis, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, accused the woman of lying.

Media caption,
The BBC's Matt Prodger reports on the trial against Dave Lee Travis

Jurors were read a transcript of his police interview when the allegation was put to him.

''I remember the days people used to touch people and you would kick them in the balls," he had told the officers. 'You didn't take them to bloody court.''

But the woman's account of having raised the assault incident at the time was backed up by comedian Dave Gorman, a scriptwriter on the show, and the producer Peter Kessler, who told the jury they remembered her claims clearly.

Operation Yewtree

Travis was found not guilty of putting his hands inside the trousers of a woman who was working on the pantomime Aladdin in 1990.

And the jury failed to reach a verdict on an allegation that he groped a journalist's chest when she interviewed him at his home in 2008.

Image caption,
Travis appeared on BBC Radio 1 for more than 25 years

Jenny Hopkins, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the CPS in London, said in a statement: "David Griffin, also known as Dave Lee Travis, indecently assaulted a young woman by touching her in a way that was not only deeply invasive but also against the law.

"We thank the jury for their careful consideration in this case and we respect all the verdicts of the court today.

"The prosecution of sexual offences is often difficult and complex, perhaps even more so when the allegations are from some years ago.

"We will continue to consider cases and, wherever there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest, we will work with police to build strong cases which can be put before the court."

Travis was arrested in November 2012 as part of Scotland Yard's Operation Yewtree, which was set up after abuse allegations against the late BBC DJ and entertainer Jimmy Savile.

Entertainer Rolf Harris and publicist Max Clifford, who were also arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, are both serving sentences for a number of indecent assaults.

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