Belfast Telegraph

'I feared Travis would rape me'

A "petrified" woman has told how she thought she was going to be raped by DJ Dave Lee Travis when she was 15 at a Showaddywaddy concert, a court heard.

The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the former Radio 1 DJ became "frisky" with her after she was invited into his caravan at the gig on a farm in the late 1970s.

In a videoed police interview played to the court, the woman said she was talking about music with Travis inside the caravan when he offered to sign her poster.

He then "lunged forward", she said.

"He started snogging my face off," she said. "He got his hand up my shirt and pulled my bra up. He was just all over my b***s. He was so heavy I was trapped in the seat. I could not get up.

"I thought he was going to rape me."

The woman told police Travis then "suddenly" got up and told her to leave before she hitch-hiked home.

Asked how she felt during the incident, she replied: "Petrified."

Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, is charged with 13 counts of indecent assault dating back to between 1976 and 2003, and one count of sexual assault in 2008.

The 68-year-old, from Buckinghamshire, is accused of assaulting 11 women, one of whom was 15 at the time of the alleged crime.

He denies all the charges.

Going over the evidence again, the witness, who described herself as "a big girl", said she thought she briefly saw fellow DJ Dave "Kid" Jensen in Travis's trailer before the alleged incident but could not be sure.

Once inside the trailer, the witness recalled how Travis "stank" during their meeting, having smelt of alcohol and cigarettes.

"He (Travis) said he had never seen b***s as big as that before and that he would know," the witness said.

"I started feeling very awkward, then he started touching me. He flicked my b***s over my clothing.

"I thought he was going to rape me."

Travis sighed as the woman's interview with police was played to London's Southwark Crown Court.

"He put his hand up my skirt, to my thigh," she said. "I was crying, I was shouting at him to stop - then he did.

"I don't know whether he had a conscience. He stopped and told me I should get dressed. He realised he wasn't going to get anywhere with me."

She said she felt "petrified".

Travis shook his head repeatedly during the evidence and appeared to mutter something.

The witness described herself as "naive" at the time of the incident.

"I was a naive 15-year-old, it was my first sexual experience," she said. "I lived on a farm and I didn't have many social skills."

The woman said she had initially lied to her parents in order to walk eight miles with her home-made Showaddywaddy poster and attend the gig.

She told police: "It (the alleged incident) was what I deserved because I told a lie."

The woman said she ran home and hid in her bed after the incident.

She did not tell anybody about it until two weeks before going to the police, as a middle-aged adult, she said.

The woman said she was "star-struck" by Travis when she first met him as a teenager, but said she now regarded him as "a disgusting old man - a pervert".

During cross-examination, Stephen Vullo, defending Travis, said: "I'm going to suggest to you that none of this ever happened. What do you say to that?"

"I'd say that's untrue because it did," she replied.

Giving evidence, former Showaddywaddy lead singer Dave Bartram said "on regular occasions" the band would be introduced on stage by Top Of The Pops presenters and DJs, including Travis.

Asked whether he could remember the concert in Gloucestershire where Travis allegedly assaulted a 15-year-old girl, Mr Bartram replied: "I can actually recall it, simply because Dave came on stage with the band and proceeded to make a nuisance of himself.

"When Dave came on stage, I'm not sure if he was invited or uninvited, he got on one of the drum kits and proceeded to make a bit of a racket."

Mr Bartram, who told the court he appeared on Top Of The Pops more than 50 times, added that Travis had "a great presence".

Travis, who laughed in the dock as Mr Bartram recounted his stage prank, later winked and smiled as the witness left the courtroom.

The court had earlier heard from other women who said they had been abused by Travis.

A headteacher said she "recoiled" after being indecently assaulted by the DJ at a student gig in Nottingham at the height of his fame.

A former colleague also described how, two decades later, Travis reduced her to tears after allegedly subjecting her to a "horrible" assault at radio station premises.

Giving evidence behind a curtain, one alleged victim said she was asked to guard the Travis's campervan at Trent Polytechnic in the 1980s because: "He said he didn't trust Nottingham - it was 'a bit of a dive' and he wanted some guards."

She said a few "guards" were given a badge, which the woman said she wore on her top.

She said: "He made a joke. He took the badge, lifted it, touching my breast ,and made a joke about the badge, saying 'Oh, you're securi-titty'. "I recoiled."

The witness said she was later summoned into Travis's campervan as a "thank-you" from the entertainer, which she assumed would result in being given free Radio 1 t-shirts.

The woman said she became "rigid with fear" as Travis put one hand on the wall and one around her.

"He came towards me and touched me. I could feel his tongue, he just relaxed. I went under his arm and ran."

The witness, who is now a headteacher, said she would not have come forward had she not seen Travis on television having been arrested in the wake of the Jimmy Savile investigation.

"I remember saying to my husband: 'It will be Dave Lee Travis next, he's got to be next'," she said.

Earlier, a former Chiltern Radio worker told the court she was "gutted" when the ex-Radio 1 presenter groped her after allegedly hugging her from behind and blowing a raspberry on her face.

The witness said that as Travis went to move his hands away, he did so "deliberately and brushed over my breast".

She said she went to the toilet and thought: "Your eyes have filled up with tears."

She added: "I felt really weird. I was confused because I knew it felt horrible."

The woman said she initially saw him as a "friendly grandad-type", who gave bear hugs.

Mr Vullo, defending Travis, told the court that his client did not remember the alleged incident.

Earlier, Chiltern Radio employee Simon Cliffe told the court he was aware one of Travis's alleged victimswho worked at the station felt "uncomfortable" around the DJ but only knew of one formal complaint.

Travis's former managing director at Classic Gold, Colin Wilshire, said Travis - who he referred to as DLT throughout - said Travis ignored his request to leave the complainant alone, heading straight into her office to challenge her.

Travis was ordered to go home for the day, the court heard.

Questioned by Mr Vullo, Mr Wilshire said Travis eventually left Classic Gold following "artistic differences" over playlists and his shifts, and not due to the complaint from a female colleague.

Mr Wilshire said he did not perceive the complaint as being "an allegation of serious sexual assault" at the time.

Travis denies all charges. The trial continues.


From Belfast Telegraph