UK

Dave Lee Travis 'Mortified' As He's Handed Three-Month Suspended Sentence For Assault

26/09/2014 11:56 BST | Updated 26/09/2014 13:59 BST

Disgraced DJ Dave Lee Travis said today he was "mortified" and "really disappointed" over his indecent assault conviction as he again criticised prosecutors for portraying him as a sexual predator.

The former Radio 1 star walked free from court despite being found guilty of groping a young researcher behind the scenes at The Mrs Merton Show.

He was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for two years by judge Anthony Leonard QC at London's Southwark Crown Court.

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Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis at Southwark Crown Court

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."

Addressing the pack of reporters and camera crews, 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."

He went on: "Those closest to me, including my wife Marianne, have been by my side all the time.

"We all know the truth and I'm grateful for that."

The DJ cornered the woman 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.

Sentencing 69-year-old Travis, Judge Leonard said: "It was an intentional and unpleasant sexual assault.

"You took advantage of a young woman in a vulnerable position whose job it was to look after you that day."

Grey-haired Travis glanced at the floor and replied "Thank you, your honour" after the judge passed sentence.

Marianne, Travis's wife of more than 40 years, hugged a friend in the public gallery after the judge delivered his sentence.

Addressing Travis, Judge Leonard said the DJ's offence was of a "different order" to other high profile convictions under Operation Yewtree.

He said: "Whilst the commission of any indecent assault is serious and reprehensible, the scale and nature of the offences of which Stuart Hall and other defendants who have been successfully prosecuted under Operation Yewtree and have been sentenced are of a different order of magnitude to the single offence of which you have been convicted."

Judge Leonard said Travis "towered" over his diminutive victim, and thought he could get away with the attack because he was a TV star.

The judge said: "In her victim impact statement, she describes herself as a naive and trusting 22- year-old. 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.

"Using humour has been for her a defence mechanism.

"Giving evidence about these events has been painful for her. When you gave evidence you described what she was alleging took place as 'a nasty thing to do'.

"You are right in your assessment - it was a nasty thing to do, but it was more than that.

"It was an intentional and unpleasant sexual assault. You took advantage of a young woman in a vulnerable position whose job it was to look after you that day.

"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."

Travis, who became a household name in the 1970s, 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 his original trial in February.

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.