‘Ruined’ DLT asks judge to refund his taxi fares to and from court

DISGRACED DJ Dave Lee Travis has been left “financially ruined” by the lengthy court battles which saw him found guilty of groping a TV researcher in 1995.

DJ Dave Lee Travis

The 69-year-old, also known as DLT, was convicted of indecently assaulting the woman behind the scenes at the Mrs Merton Show, and was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Stephen Vullo QC, representing Travis, made a defendant’s costs application at London’s Southwark Crown Court, saying the criminal proceedings against his client had left him “financially ruined”.

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At the hearing today the former radio presenter was awarded travel and accommodation costs.

Travis’s conviction came after lengthy legal proceedings which saw him cleared of 12 counts of indecent assault after a trial in February 2014.

After the jury was unable to decide on verdicts on an additional count of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that the DJ, real name David Griffin, would face a retrial on these matters.

It also added one more count of indecent assault - the offence of which he was eventually convicted - on the indictment for the September 2014 trial.

Travis was cleared of the indecent assault on which he was retried, and after a second jury were unable to reach a verdict on the sexual assault charge, Judge Anthony Leonard QC, directed a not-guilty verdict.

Making an application for defendant’s costs, Mr Vullo said: “In effect, it means that all of the allegations from trial one were found in his favour.

“In reality, as difficult as it might be for the prosecution, they called a number of complainants in the first trial who we say were proven to be liars, and some of the evidence called in the first trial was extremely weak on paper,” he continued.

Mr Vullo said that since the second trial he had been acting pro bono on Travis’s behalf.

He added: “He has no money left whatsoever. He is now below zero. He lives in a house owned by his wife ... he has been financially devastated by this.”

Mr Vullo applied to the court for travel and accommodation costs, saying that Travis had racked up a bill of £4,456 in taxi fares to travel daily from his home in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, to court during the trials.

He also claimed £630 in hotel accommodation, and £246 for travel to legal conferences, asking for a total of £5,332 towards Travis’s costs.

Prosecutor Joshua Munro opposed the application, stating that the costs were not “reasonable” expenses for the taxpayer to fund.

Judge Leonard ruled that Travis was only entitled to the costs of a daily return train ticket from Aylesbury to Marylebone - £61.40 - as well as £50 a day for reasonable taxi costs from the station. He allowed the hotel costs.

Judge Leonard said: “The trip from Aylesbury by train costs £61.40, day return, not allowing for the reduction with a monthly or weekly season ticket.”

Referring to the household name’s back problems, he continued: “His infirmity was such that the benefit from the train to get up from his seat rather than remain in it is something that could only have been achieved on a train, not a car.”

The judge added he did not have the power to award defence costs of £21,161.54 for magistrates’ courts hearings.

The defence estimate that Travis travelled to court on 37 days, meaning he is entitled to £4,121.80. The number of days is to be confirmed with the court at a later stage.

Before Travis’s retrial began, Mr Vullo revealed that the DJ had had to sell his £1.1 million home in Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, to pay for legal costs. At Travis’s sentencing, the court heard that he had spent in the region of £350,000 defending both trials, and had not worked since his arrest.

In September last year, Travis was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years.

His trial heard that the former Top Of The Pops presenter got a “weird sexual thrill” when he indecently assaulted the woman, who is now a successful TV personality, in 1995.

He cornered her in the corridor of a BBC television studio where she was smoking, and commented on her ‘’poor little lungs’’ before squeezing her breasts for 10 to 15 seconds.

Travis was first arrested in October 2012 under Operation Yewtree, Scotland Yard’s investigation into historic sexual abuse in the wake of allegations against the late DJ Jimmy Savile.