A radio announcer allegedly assaulted by DJ Dave Lee Travis as she introduced BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour believed senior managers at the broadcaster would have told her to ‘live with it’ had she complained.
The woman, who cannot be named, told a jury she was in a ‘panic’ when Travis allegedly grabbed her breasts as she went live on air to introduce the programme in the early 1980s.
She told jurors at Southwark Crown Court she did not tell her bosses about the alleged incident ‘due to the climate at the time’ and because Travis was ‘a big star’ at Radio 1.
Another alleged victim said managers at a radio station which Travis later worked at ‘were 100% aware’ of complaints about him from female staff.
Giving evidence behind a curtain, the first witness, the former BBC Radio 4 announcer, said she was assaulted by Travis after he walked into the studio she was in as she was about to go on air.
The woman, who was in her 20s at the time, said the veteran DJ sat down behind her as she read out the time, when she felt him standing behind her.
“His hands came round under my arm pits and he put one hand on each breast,” she said. “He started to move my breasts up and down.”
The woman told the court Travis held her breasts throughout her announcement which lasted about 10 seconds.
Asked by prosecutor Miranda Moore QC how she felt at the time, she replied: “Well I imagine there was a feeling of sort of panic.
“Radio 4 is a very serious network. I was making a serious announcement. I was just frightened I was going to mess up the announcement.”
The alleged victim said Travis sat down after the incident ‘as if nothing had happened’.
She said due to ‘the climate at the time’, she believed she would be told ‘to live with it’ had she reported the incident to management.
“There was no way I was going to start telling off this big star of Radio 1,” she said. “If I had gone to the management, I imagine it would have been ‘so what?! You’re a big girl, deal with it.'”
“I believe he (Travis) thought it was a prank,” she added. “I don’t believe I saw it as sexual at the time.”
She told the jury that other Radio 1 DJs, including the late John Peel, would also enter the studio during Radio 4 announcements, but it was never reported to management.
During cross-examination, Stephen Vullo, defending Travis, said his client denied any knowledge of the incident.
Interfering with a Radio 4 announcement would have had ‘serious consequences’ and would have prompted an inquiry, he said.
Travis, whose real name is David Patrick Griffin, is charged with 13 counts of indecent assault dating back to between 1976 and 2003, and one count of sexual assault in 2008.
The 68-year-old, from Buckinghamshire, is accused of assaulting 11 women, one of whom was 15 at the time of the alleged crime.
He denies all the charges.
Dressed in a dark green blazer, white shirt and tie, Travis listened to the proceedings with the aid of headphones.
He stood up and walked around the dock at one point, which Judge Anthony Leonard told the jury was allowed because the defendant suffered with a bad back.
A second alleged victim, who worked with Travis in the premises of Chiltern Radio at the turn of the millennium, told the court that women ‘kept their heads down’ whenever Travis entered their office.
The woman, who was in her 20s at the time, recalled three specific incidents where Travis is alleged to have abused her.
She said she was assaulted on her first day working in the same building as the defendant, when they were introduced and he hugged her tightly and touched her, the court heard.
The woman said she knew when Travis, who was presenting on Classic Gold at the time, was nearby because of his ‘strong, pungent aftershave’.
“It was incredibly strong and you could smell it throughout the building,” she said.
The woman said she repeatedly questioned why she did not complain to Travis when he allegedly touched her breast while reaching for a pen in a second incident.
But she finally ‘snapped’ after Travis allegedly approached and assaulted her while she was perched on a desk.
The witness said: “He had both hands on my thighs and began rubbing my thighs.
“He pushed the skirt up. I could feel his fingers against my knicker elastic – at which point he tried to get his fingers under.
“At that point I absolutely snapped. I couldn’t take it any more.”
She said a manager had to pull the pair apart after she kicked off, but that Travis had become very aggressive when she shouted out that he was a pervert.
The witness said senior managers ‘were 100% aware’ of Travis’s alleged behaviour, and that the latest incident prompted him to be banned from the office where the complainant was working.
Former Chiltern Radio employee Mark Grinnell told the court there were ‘ripples’ through the office after an argument involving Travis and a female colleague.
He told the court: “I know that she called him a dirty old man.”
Donald Douglas, a network programme controller for Classic Gold radio – which shared premises in Dunstable with Chiltern Radio – said he knew of a single complaint against the veteran DJ, but he was not aware of a ‘campaign of sexual assaults’ when asked by Mr Vullo.
A fourth witness, who worked at Chiltern Radio at the time of Travis’s alleged offending, said the DJ was ‘lechy…with his hands’.
The witness, who gave her evidence behind a curtain, said she felt ‘incredibly uncomfortable’ when she was near Travis.
“He could not keep his hands off,” she said.