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Travis brands accusers as 'liars'

Veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis has branded his three alleged sex attack victims as "liars".

In increasingly heated exchanges under cross-examination at London's Southwark Crown Court, the former Radio 1 star and Top of the Pops presenter declared he had not assaulted anyone.

In the witness box, Travis, 69, said that he was "tactile" but denied that he is an opportunist who takes his chances to touch young women.

At one point during questioning by prosecutor Miranda Moore QC, Travis held up his outstretched arms and grasped his fingers in a squeezing motion in mid-air for several seconds as he tried to demonstrate what he had been accused of.

He told the jury: "Fifteen seconds is a hell of a long time for a man to be squeezing someone's breasts, especially someone who has a lit cigarette. She is lying about it yes."

One alleged incident is said to have happened when Travis was a guest on the Mrs Merton Show in the mid-1990s. The alleged victim was in her 20s and part of the production crew on the TV comedy show. She claims Travis approached her while she was smoking in the corridor of a BBC television studio.

She alleges that he commented on her "poor little lungs" before he squeezed her breasts and that she "froze" as she was pinned against the wall by the DJ before he let go of her breasts after 10-15 seconds.

Describing himself as an "ebullient character" who likes to talk to people, Travis said that making a jokey comment to someone would be the sort of thing he might do but he denied grabbing her breasts and doing anything wrong.

He argued: "I am a warm person who sometimes hugs people, most times hugs people, and it would be natural for me to say something like 'what are you doing to your lungs?'"

Ms Moore took Travis through each of the allegations against him and drew responses including "there is no middle ground whatsoever" and "liar".

He also described one of the accusations of squeezing someone's breast as a "nasty act" and could not be considered an accident. Travis stressed that if he did accidentally touch anyone on the breast, he did not recall it but it would have been an accident.

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

He 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.

Earlier Travis flatly denied claims he would sexually attack anyone at a pantomime because he is not a "moron".

"It doesn't bear thinking about to be honest, " he said, adding that working on pantomime involves being with people that you get to know over a matter of months, become friendly with and go out with for drinks.

During questioning by his barrister Stephen Vullo, Travis said: "The thought of sexually attacking someone as part of that team is just not something you would want to do. You would have to be a complete moron to do that - something that I am hoping that no one is going to suggest that I am moron."

Travis said that pinching someone's bottom was a line he had not crossed.

He said: "No, I am not going to go up to a strange person and pinch their bottom - it's just not going to happen - or any other part of them."

Mr Vullo also asked if he was tactile and if this was a problem.

Travis replied: "Yes, very much so. I am tactile with everybody - men, women, certainly women, anyone because it is just a natural thing for me to greet someone. I give a squeeze and have been known to give a guy a hug and a kiss on the cheek if I know he is a great guy."

He said that he enjoyed playing a baddie saying: "I relish it, there is nothing better than going on stage and saying 'I hate kids'".

Travis, a keen photographer, also denied that he was sleazy in the way he approached his work with the camera.

One of his previous projects included taking images of people and asking what they liked or disliked about themselves.

He said: "No, sleazy is a terrible word that is easily banded about. Sleazy has nothing to with what I did, ever."

He tried to be friendly and professional and if anyone came to interview him at his home they would be welcomed with a cup of tea and a general friendliness so that "it was a nice experience but it had to be right on both sides".

He also drove them back to the station.

He added: "We are professionals. I do not think about that because I have not thought about should or should I not touch a journalist."

Travis said: "I like photographing women. They have wonderful curves and things but that does not mean that I would attack them."

Three of Travis's former PA's told the court that he was an ideal employer.

They described Travis as jolly, tactile, someone who had no airs-and-graces and who treated them like one of the family. He never acted unprofessionally, they claimed.

The hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.


From Belfast Telegraph