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No 'predatory' Travis - panto chief

The producer/director of a pantomime during which DJ Dave Lee Travis is accused of indecently assaulting a stagehand said today he heard nothing about him being "predatory".

The incident is alleged to have happened when Travis was appearing in A laddin in 1990, London's Southwark Crown Court has heard.

Travis, 69, who is charged under his real name David Griffin, denies two counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.

Jon Conway, asked if he had been aware of Travis allegedly having a predatory nature at the pantomime, said: "We wouldn't have done anything where there was someone of a predatory nature."

Asked if the management would have wanted to turn a blind eye if an allegation of sexual assault was made, because Travis was head of the bill, he said: "No, that wouldn't have been the case at all, for lots of reasons. These were my friends, I knew a lot of them quite well."

He added: "We worked with nice people, and usually people stayed with us for many years."

Asked about su ggestions that female staff had to be chaperoned, he said: "Anyone who has worked in our game would tell you that's ludicrous. It's unthinkable."

Travis is facing a retrial on two counts - one of indecent assault of a woman between November 1 1990 and January 31 1991, and another of sexual assault on a different woman between June 1 2008 and November 30 2008 - on which a jury was unable to reach verdicts at a trial earlier this year.

Travis, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, has also pleaded not guilty to an additional count of indecent assault alleged to have taken place on January 17 1995.

Rosemary Withenshaw told the jury that she wanted to give evidence after hearing news of the start of the retrial on the radio.

"The prosecution said that he felt he had the right to grope women, but I knew that on my one meeting with Mr Travis, this hadn't been my experience, I had experienced the complete opposite."

She told how she went on Top of the Pops in 1979 or 1980 when she was 15, with a girlfriend who was 14.

Travis was going to introduce an act, and Rosemary was one of those chosen to stand near him.

Travis pulled her friend up by the hand to join them on stage - and the friend split her red satin trousers at the rear.

"He looked around for a member of the crew to take us to the dressing room where Legs and Co were, and the crew member asked if one of the girls could sew her trousers up, because they would have a needle and thread."

Asked if Travis had been sleazy, she said: "No, he was kind, he was thoughtful, and he was helpful. He was a gentleman."

The hearing was adjourned until 11am tomorrow.

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