UK & World News

  • 30 January 2014, 15:55

Travis: I'm Normal, Decent And Not A Predator

Former BBC DJ Dave Lee Travis has told a court he is a "normal, decent human being" and is "astonished" at allegations he indecently assaulted women over a 40-year period.

The 68-year-old was giving his final evidence at Southwark Crown Court when he said he was not a "predator" but someone who would play jokes and "cuddle" people.

He told the prosecution: "It's been suggested many women have thrown themselves at me. Thankfully most of them have missed."

When questioned about his time at Chiltern radio, he described how he used to give colleagues hugs and massages but said allegations that he inappropriately touched female staff were "completely false".

He admitted there was a complaint made against him during his time at Chiltern radio and that he was warned by bosses not to enter the station's newsroom.

Under cross-examination, he recalled how he "raised his voice" when he learned of the accusations and got into an argument with a female journalist.

He told jurors: "It was suggested I don't go into the newsroom for varying reasons. Because someone had been upset. I'm the kind of character who'd like to have it out ... to face someone and say 'what's the problem?'.

"I did raise my voice, I was deeply concerned by whatever had happened that caused me to be put in front of the boss."

Over claims that he put his hand on her legs during the confrontation he explained, "I put my face in front of hers - so I had to have touched her legs."

When the prosecution asked if he had touched the woman's breasts while massaging her shoulders on a previous occasion, he responded: "It's such a short move from touching someone's shoulders to maybe touch their breasts as well.

"The facts are I agree I would put my hands on someone's shoulder - that's very different from putting your hands on someone's breasts," he said.

"Why do that in a newsroom full of people?"

The DJ also described allegations he touched the breasts of another woman working at Chiltern as "100% fabricated".

The former Top of the Pops presenter also said that giving hugs to people he worked with was a "normal way to greet someone".

It emerged he had fallen out with the bosses at Chiltern when he suggested they expanded their playlist, which he says led to them reducing his show to one day a week and cutting his salary.

He was also asked whether he touched a journalist's breasts during an interview at his home where he also suggested she pose for his professional photographs.

Travis said: "Why would I take a chance with my reputation over 50 years? I'm a professional in my photography life and my TV life. I do not want to touch the breasts of anyone, let alone a member of the press."

When asked why the women who are accusing him would lie, the DJ said he could not think of a reason.

"It's their word against mine isn't it? That's what this is all about," he said.

Travis denies 13 charges of indecent assault and one charge of sexual assault. The trial continues.

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