DLT 'groped woman after photo bid'

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Dave Lee Travis is accused of a series of indecent assaults and one sexual assault Dave Lee Travis is accused of a series of indecent assaults and one sexual assault

A journalist has told a court that veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis allegedly groped her breasts after asking her to pose for suggestive photographs for him.

The woman, who said she was 24 at the time, said she knew Travis, now 68, was suggesting she pose in a bikini or her underwear after noticing a similar photo of a pop star on his wall.

The witness, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said the incident took place when she went to the former BBC presenter's home to interview him about a photograph of him and Jimmy Savile alongside other DJs.

She told London's Southwark Crown Court that she noticed a "provocative" photograph on the wall of a pop star posing on her knees in a bikini and he later grabbed hold of her breasts "as if he was judging himself - whether they were big enough". "He wanted to me to strip down," she said.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, she told jurors that, as they both looked at the picture, "Dave Lee Travis said to me 'I'm also a photographer'. He slightly looked down at me and said 'Well, you've got a good figure, I could take a photograph of you'."

The woman said she felt "embarrassed" and "taken aback" but did not say much.

Describing the former Top Of The Pops presenter, known as DLT, as a "larger- than-life character", she said they then proceeded with the interview in the recording studio at his home before chatting more generally as they had a bit of time to kill before her train.

The woman said she felt as though she was in an "enclosed space" as they spoke face to face in his kitchen.

She continued: "He raised photography and said again 'I could take some photos of you'. The first time when I dismissed it, I thought the conversation wouldn't happen again. The fact that he raised it again, I almost felt like I had to justify myself. I burst out 'No - and anyway, my boobs aren't big enough' because I thought that would put him off.

"He didn't say anything, there was a split second where neither of us said anything and then suddenly he put his arms out and put his hands on my breasts and then quizzically put his head to the side as if he was judging himself - whether they were big enough."

The woman said she thought Travis left his hands there for a "couple of seconds".

She continued: "It felt to me like he knew that this was an opportunity. In hindsight I see that he was looking for an opportunity and he took it. I did not invite him to touch me.

"The picture was very obviously about a young girl in a bikini showing her cleavage. I knew what he meant when he said I had a good figure. He wanted me to strip down."

During cross-examination from Stephen Vullo, defending Travis, the woman said she would never pose for such photographs for anyone. "It's highly inappropriate and tacky and I'd be highly embarrassed if I'd be coerced into doing something like that," she said.

Mr Vullo put it to the woman that Travis had said the incident didn't happen. "That's a lie," she said.

Travis, of Buckinghamshire, denies 13 indecent assaults and one sexual assault. The alleged offending includes when he was working as a BBC DJ, as a broadcaster with Classic Gold radio, while appearing on Top Of The Pops, and when in panto.

Travis sat in the dock listening to the evidence through headphones and smiled as the photograph of him and Savile was mentioned.

Describing the moments after Travis allegedly groped her, the woman said she did not acknowledge what he had done as she "didn't process it at all at the time" and wanted to remain professional. They carried on talking but "his behaviour changed a bit" and he became less chatty.

The witness said she didn't go to police or say anything to her bosses then as she "didn't want to make a big fuss" or jeopardise her fledgling career.

She said she simply thought Travis was a "pervy old man taking the opportunity to do that to me". She added: "I knew what he'd done was wrong, but I hadn't felt threatened. I hadn't felt like he'd really attacked me."

She said she decided to go to police after other allegations about Travis came out and she "felt a real responsibility to come forward". The woman said she felt she ought to as, while the other alleged offences dated back decades, her experience "had happened relatively recently and showed consistent behaviour for a long period of time".

A friend of the journalist told jurors they discussed what Travis had allegedly done that evening.

The woman, who shared a house with the alleged victim, said she appeared "stressed" and "upset" when she returned from work.

The witness said her friend told her: "He'd made a lascivious comment about, I don't know, drawing her or something, and then after that he'd placed both his hands on her breasts."

Another friend who also lived in the houseshare told the court what the alleged victim said to her. She told jurors: "She was quite shaken and upset and talked to me about what had happened. She said that the whole time she was conducting the interview Dave Lee Travis was being very touchy feely with her - very tactile, giving her hugs, putting his arm around her, that sort of thing. Towards the end of their meeting she had been in his kitchen and Dave Lee Travis had sort of lunged at her and touched her breasts."

Travis denies a charge of sexual assault against the woman in 2008. He is also charged with 13 counts of indecent assault dating back to 1973 and as recently as 2003. He denies all the charges.

The trial was adjourned to tomorrow (January 23).

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