My year of hell: Dave Lee Travis cleared of sex assaults

Veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis has said he has been though “a year and a half of hell” after being found not guilty of 12 charges of indecent assault.

Dave Lee Travis arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London with his wife Marianne

Jurors at London’s Southwark Crown Court failed to reach verdicts on two other charges and were discharged, meaning there will be a further hearing to decide whether to have a retrial on them.

Speaking outside the court, Travis said the case had cost him his reputation along with so much money that he has had to sell his house.

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Flanked by Marianne, his wife of more than 40 years, Travis, 68, said he did not see the verdicts as a “victory”.

Dave Lee Travis arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London with his wife Marianne

He told the press outside the court: “Basically, first of all, I’m not over the moon about any of this today.

“I don’t feel like all there’s a victory in any way, shape or form. On the contrary, I think you already know that I have been through a year and a half of hell on this which included costing me so much money to pay out for my part of this trial.”

He added that he felt he had been through two trials.

“I have had one trial by media and one trial by Crown Court,” he said.

Dave Lee Travis carrying his wife Marianne Bergqvist following their wedding in 1971

“And I have to say, in all honesty, that I prefer trial by the by Crown Court.

“All I want to do now is go home and relax with my wife who’s also been suffering through all this with me and been by my side all the time.”

Travis showed no reaction as the verdicts were read out, looking straight ahead and listening with the aid of headphones, as he had done during the four weeks of evidence.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for around 20 hours after a trial in which the former Top Of The Pops presenter was accused of indecently assaulting 10 women and sexually assaulting another in alleged incidents dating back to 1976 when he was at the height of his fame.

Radio One Disc Jockeys in 1980: Simon Bates, Dave Lee Travis, Tony Blackburn, Kid Jensen and Steve Wright

There will be a further hearing at the same court on February 24 to decide if there should be a retrial of the two outstanding charges.

Today’s verdicts come a week after Coronation Street star William Roache was cleared of a string of sex offences, prompting claims that he had been the victim of a “celebrity witchhunt” in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Prosecutors alleged that Travis was an “opportunist” who assaulted “vulnerable” young women while working at the BBC and commercial radio.

Travis was found not guilty of indecently assaulting nine women, but jurors failed to reach verdicts on the alleged indecent assault of a woman working on a pantomime in the early 1990s along with an alleged sexual assault on a journalist who interviewed him at his home in 2008.

Dave Lee Travis has been has been found not guilty of 12 indecent assault charges

Jurors cleared him of groping a teenager in his Radio 1 studio in the 1970s, a 15-year-old girl at a Showaddywaddy concert in 1978, and a teenage music fan during an episode of Top Of The Pops in 1978.

He was also found not guilty of grabbing the breasts of a Radio 4 announcer in the early 1980s, a teenager in his motorhome at a gig in 1983, and a young hotel worker in Bude, Cornwall, in 1984.

The other charges he was cleared of were two counts of assaulting a British Airways worker in the 1990s and four that related to two women he worked with when he had a slot on Classic Gold radio in the early 2000s.

Giving his own evidence, Travis - on trial under his birth name David Griffin - told jurors that he was not a “sexual predator” and the claims against him were “nonsensical”.

“I do not have a predatory nature with women, I have a cuddly nature. Maybe that’s what this is all about, but I am not predatory,” he said.

Travis also said he would have reported Savile to police if he had known the television star was a paedophile, but denied the two had ever been close.

The defendant was supported by a host of defence witnesses during the case, including Chuckle Brothers Barry and Paul Elliott, Patricia “Dee Dee” Wilde of Top Of The Pops dance troupe Pan’s People, and former colleagues at the BBC and elsewhere.

His wife has been in court to support him since the jury retired to consider its verdicts on Monday.

She did not attend the rest of the trial, with Travis telling jurors he did not want her to give evidence as she has “suffered enough nonsense”.

Travis, from Buckinghamshire, was arrested under Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree, which was prompted by abuse allegations involving the late Savile.

Outside court, Travis declined to answer questions from reporters about whether he felt he had been the victim of a “witchhunt” against famous people accused of sexual crimes.

Detective Chief Superintendent Keith Niven, who is leading Operation Yewtree, also refused to answer the same question.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Niven said: “The Metropolitan Police take all allegations of sexual abuse very seriously.

“We fully investigate every case and once sufficient evidence is obtained investigators work with CPS lawyers and a decision whether to charge is made.

“In the case of Mr Griffin, the prosecution was brought, he was tried and the jury reached their decision.

“We encourage victims to come forward and pledge our commitment to support anyone who has been subjected to sexual abuse.

“We continue to work closely with our partners and dedicate resources to investigate crimes of this nature.

“We will ensure that all victims have a choice.”

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “The CPS is now considering whether a retrial will take place and so it would be inappropriate to comment further while proceedings are still active.”