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British DJ Travis convicted of indecent assault

24 september 2014, 13:24
0
Former radio and TV presenter Dave Lee Travis leaves Southwark Crown Court in central London. ©AFP
Former radio and TV presenter Dave Lee Travis leaves Southwark Crown Court in central London. ©AFP

 Veteran British DJ Dave Lee Travis was found guilty Tuesday of groping a female television personality in 1995, following a high-profile trial, AFP reports.

Travis, once a top BBC broadcaster who counted Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi among his fans, was convicted of the indecent assault charge by a jury majority verdict of 10-2.

The victim, who cannot be named, was 21 at the time and was working backstage at a TV chat show when Travis pinned her against a wall and squeezed her breasts.

Judge Anthony Leonard said he was considering "all options" for sentencing on Friday. Travis could face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

The DJ, 69, was also retried on two other counts but was cleared after more than 19 hours of jury deliberations at London's Southwark Crown Court.

He was found not guilty of a second indecent assault charge, and was cleared of a sexual assault charge after jurors failed to reach a verdict.

Travis, one of the biggest names in British broadcasting in the 1970s and 1980s, was in February cleared of 12 indecent assault charges brought after a number of women contacted police investigating abuse by another BBC star, Jimmy Savile.

But jurors were unable to decide on two further counts and a retrial on those charges was ordered, while a further count of indecent assault -- the one on which he was convicted -- was added.

Travis, who was prosecuted under his real name of David Griffin, declined to comment as he left court.

  'Weird sexual thrill' 

He hosted the breakfast show on BBC Radio 1, Britain's main pop music station, between 1978 and 1980.

That slot, and his bearded appearance, led to him being nicknamed "The Hairy Cornflake".

His fans included Suu Kyi, who listened to his BBC World Service shows through her years of house arrest.

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

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.

She said the assault was "unbelievably weird" and he had an "intense stare".

She said she "froze" as she was pinned against the wall by Travis before he let go after 10-15 seconds. He denied the allegation.

Travis was the third person to be found guilty under the wide-ranging Operation Yewtree police investigation set up in the wake of revelations that Savile was a prolific abuser.

Veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris was jailed in July for five years and nine months for a string of sexual assaults against girls. Public relations guru Max Clifford was jailed for eight years in May for eight indecent assaults.

Scotland Yard police headquarters said in a statement on Tuesday: "The passage of time will not prevent offenders being investigated and brought to justice."


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