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DJ Travis guilty of groping woman

Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has been found guilty of groping a female TV personality.

The ex-Top Of The Pops presenter was convicted by the jury at London's Southwark Crown Court by a majority of 10 to two.

Travis, 69, was found guilty of indecent assault on the woman, who was working on the Mrs Merton Show, in 1995.

He was cleared on a second indecent assault charge and the jury was discharged after it was unable to agree a verdict on a count of sexual assault.

Travis, who became a household name in the 1970s, faced a retrial after jurors failed to reach verdicts on those two charges earlier this year.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC warned the former radio star that he was looking at "all options" for sentencing .

A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said after the hearing that the maximum sentence he faces is 10 years in prison.

Wearing dark grey trousers and a light grey blazer, Travis stared straight ahead with a stony expression and held his hands in front of him as the verdicts were read out.

He glanced over his shoulder to his wife Marianne, who was at the back of court, before sitting down.

Travis's victim told the court during the trial that he got a "weird sexual thrill" as he indecently assaulted her on January 17 1995.

She said Travis approached her in the corridor of a BBC television studio where she was smoking and commented on her "poor little lungs", before he squeezed her breasts.

The woman, who was working as part of the production crew in Manchester, said the assault was "unbelievably weird" and he had an "intense stare" during the incident.

She said she "froze" as she was pinned against the wall by Travis before he let go of her breasts after 10-15 seconds.

The woman, who was in her early 20s at the time of the incident, said she did not make an official complaint or contact police at the time because she was young and did not want to make a "fuss".

She gave evidence without a screen, in view of Travis in the dock, and said she had spoken in public about the assault.

Comedian Dave Gorman, who was a writer on the show, said he remembered hearing about the incident and that it was "aggressive" and not a Carry On-style "playful" act.

"My recollection was everyone in the team would have known," he said. "This was office gossip to some extent."

He added: "I recall discussions and questions about whether it had been a sort of 'Carry On-film wahey', which might be playful albeit ill-judged, or whether it was aggressive.

"My recollection was it was aggressive."

Sentencing was adjourned until Friday morning.

Sophie Wood, defending, told the court that the "custodial threshold has not been met", and said the judge could order Travis to carry out unpaid work as punishment.

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

Travis, speaking in a Derbyshire accent, replied: "I understand. Thank you, your honour."

He was cleared of of 12 counts of indecent assault at his original trial in February.

He faced a retrial on two counts which the jury was unable to reach verdicts on.

One was indecent assault of a woman between November 1 1990 and January 31 1991 - on which he was found not guilty - and another of sexual assault on a different woman between June 1 2008 and November 30 2008 - on which the jury was again unable to reach a verdict.

He also denied the additional count of indecent assault, but was convicted over that charge today.

Travis, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, was first arrested in October 2012 under Operation Yewtree, Scotland Yard's investigation into historic sexual abuse in the wake of allegations against the late DJ Jimmy Savile.

During the trial, prosecutors claimed Travis was an "opportunist" who acted as if he had the "perfect right" to grope young women.

The allegations against him dated back to the 1990s when he was starring in panto, while the most recent was said to have happened during an interview with a journalist at his home in 2008.

Giving his own evidence, the veteran DJ denied the claims, telling jurors the women had been lying.

Travis had to push his way through a scrum of photographers as he left court with his wife and got into his waiting black Honda saloon car.

Journalists asked Travis if he was "remorseful" and if he was "sorry" for calling his victim a liar.

But the former DJ refused to answer questions, telling reporters: "I cannot say anything until Friday."

His driver had to honk his horn several times to disperse the crowd of photographers before he could drive the 69-year-old away.

Mark Castle, chief executive of the charity Victim Support, said: " Today's conviction is a vindication for all victims of indecent assault who were attacked by someone so famous that they feared they would never get justice.

"We hope this verdict will encourage anyone who has been a victim of this crime to seek help."

Jenny Hopkins, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the CPS in London, said: "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."

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