Prosecutors ‘throwing mud at DJ Dave Lee Travis

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Veteran disc jockey Dave Lee Travis was seen by his colleagues as a “gentleman” and far from the “sexual predator” he has been made out to be, his defence barrister has told his trial.

Presenting his closing speech, Stephen Vullo said that after hearing from dozens of people who worked with the former Top Of The Pops presenter during his 30-year career, there was “not one whisper out there of what he is now being accused of”.

Dave Lee Travis arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London

Dave Lee Travis arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London

Travis, now 68, is on trial under his birth name David Griffin charged with indecently assaulting 10 women and sexually assaulting another in alleged incidents dating back to 1976 and the height of his fame.

He denies all the charges, which relate to allegations from when he was working as a BBC DJ, as a broadcaster with Classic Gold radio, while appearing on Top Of The Pops and when starring in panto.

Mr Vullo referred to three of Travis’s former personal assistants, who all said they were shocked when they heard the claims and had never seen the former BBC presenter acting inappropriately.

He told jurors at London’s Southwark Crown Court: “These three witnessed his behaviour on a daily basis, in all of the venues that you are being said or told he committed offences.

“They were with him throughout all these periods of time, witnessed his behaviour, and they missed it.

“Totally missed that they were working with a sexual predator.

“Or he wasn’t and has never been a sexual predator, that’s the other possibility.”

Mr Vullo said, unlike in other trials, Travis’s “good character is totally an issue in this case”.

He went on: “The prosecution have thrown quite a lot of mud at the defendant in this case. But mud throwing is not evidence.

“It is not evidence capable of supporting or asserting that he has been a sexual predator for 40 years.”

Referring to some of the evidence heard, Mr Vullo said: “It has been suggested that Radio 1 was sexually out of control in the 1970s and 80s.

“How does that possibly take you any further in deciding the issues in this case?”

He added the reality was that “it was a family show watched by thousands of people taken for what it was, which was fun”.

Mr Vullo said Travis had been spoken of highly by witnesses and referred to the dancer from Pan’s People’s who yesterday described working with him on Top Of The Pops in the 1960s and 70s.

Mr Vullo said: “She said he was a real gentleman.

“So the prolific and determined sexual predator Mr Griffin somehow manages to get through all of these shows in all of these years... He manages somehow to have no rumours about him at all.

“In fact it’s the opposite, it’s not just a ‘No I didn’t see him do anything like that’. He was the gentleman of the group.”

Mr Vullo said it was not his job to prove Travis’s innocence, but the Crown’s job to prove his guilt and he could not explain why the claimants would have made the allegations up.

Referring to one of the women, he said: “Without a bank of psychologists and huge speculation, we can’t answer why (an alleged victim) his made the accusation she has made.”

He said the prosecution was alleging Travis was a “sneaking in the shadows sort of character” but this could not be further from the truth.