Ex-BBC DJ Travis cleared of sex offences

Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:03am EST
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Dave Lee Travis, one of Britain's best-known radio DJs in the 1970s and 1980s who counted Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi among his fans, was cleared on Thursday of a string of sexual offences against women over three decades.

The 68-year-old former BBC Radio 1 DJ was the first ageing celebrity to go on trial as a direct result of an investigation launched after police revealed that the late Jimmy Savile, one of the BBC's top TV presenters, had been a prolific child sex offender.

Travis, who appeared on a weekly television music show at the height of his fame, had been accused of 14 charges involving 11 women between 1976 and 2008.

The jury at the London court cleared him of 12 offences but was unable to reach a verdict on one charge of indecent assault and one of sexual assault. Prosecutors were given a week to decide whether to seek a re-trial.

"I'm not over the moon about any of this today. I don't feel like there's a victory in any way, shape or form," Travis told reporters outside court. He said he had been through a year-and-a-half of hell, lost his reputation and had been forced to sell his house to fight the charges.

The trial was told that Travis, nicknamed DLT, or the "Hairy Cornflake" for his bushy beard, had preyed on women at the BBC's central London headquarters, at corporate events, and at a Christmas pantomime.

The jury had been told Travis had groped the breasts of a BBC employee while she was introducing a radio program, and heard he had indecently assaulted another woman in 1978 during filming for the "Top of the Pops" weekly television music program when she was teenager.

But Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, had denied all the accusations, describing himself as a "big, hairy, cuddly bear" who was tactile but not a sexual predator. He accused the women of making up the claims to make money.   Continued...

Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, arrives with his wife Marian Griffin at Southwark Crown Court in London February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Winning