Disgraced DJ defiant despite indecent assault conviction

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DISGRACED DJ Dave Lee Travis hit out at prosecutors yesterday for portraying as a sexual predator - despite being found guilty of groping a young researcher behind the scenes at the filming of a television show.

Former Radio 1 star Travis walked free from court, and told a waiting pack of reporters that he was “mortified” and “really disappointed” over his indecent assault conviction.

Outside court, Travis, 69, said: “Whilst I’m relieved I’ve been able to prove I’m not a sexual predator, I’m mortified and I’m really disappointed that I was convicted of one count.”

He added: “It’s of little comfort to me that I was acquitted of so many others.”

Travis was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years at Southwark Crown Court.

Addressing the media, Travis said: “Two years ago I was accused out of the blue of being a sexual predator. Never before that date had anyone ever suggested to me that I’d committed a crime whatsoever.

“With millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money, thousands of hours of police resources, the judge accepted today that the Crown had failed to prove their case against me - namely, that I was a sexual predator.

“I’ve always been worried, as have my close family and friends, that if the prosecution threw enough mud at me, some of it might stick.”

Travis’s trial heard that the former Top Of The Pops presenter got a “weird sexual thrill” when he indecently assaulted the woman. He cornered the victim in the corridor of a BBC studio where she was smoking, and commented on her “poor little lungs” before squeezing her breasts for 10 to 15 seconds

Travis was found not guilty on a second indecent assault charge and the jury was discharged after it was unable to agree a verdict on a count of sexual assault. He faced a retrial after jurors failed to reach verdicts on those two charges earlier this year. He was cleared of 12 counts of indecent assault at a trial in February.

Sentencing, Judge Anthony Leonard QC said the DJ’s offence was of a “different order of magnitude” to other more serious convictions under Operation Yewtree, Scotland Yard’s investigation into historic sexual abuse.

He said Travis “towered” over his victim, and thought he could get away with the attack because he was a TV star.

The judge told him: “She was subjected to an unprovoked and terrifying assault and considers herself lucky to be psychologically robust enough to deal with the distress, supported by family and friends.

He went on: “I judge that you believed she would not make a fuss about what you did to her. You were right about that, too. She made no complaint until she heard you describe the witnesses in your previous trial as ‘liars’. That encouraged her to come forward.”

Following sentencing, Det Chief Insp Michael Orchard commended the victim for her bravery in coming forward.