UK

Dave Lee Travis trial: 'Assault' was 'aggressive', says Dave Gorman

Dave Lee Travis arrives at Southwark Crown Court Image copyright PA
Image caption Dave Lee Travis denies the charges against him

Staff working on the BBC's Mrs Merton Show thought an alleged assault by Dave Lee Travis was "aggressive" rather than "playful, albeit ill-judged", comedian Dave Gorman has told a court.

A jury has heard that the ex-Radio 1 DJ groped a female television presenter who worked as a researcher when he appeared on the comedy show in 1995.

Show scriptwriter Mr Gorman said it was "office gossip to some extent".

Mr Travis denies two counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.

Victim 'shaking'

Mr Gorman said he had been told that as the woman "was escorting Mr Travis back to his dressing room, he at some point" grabbed her breasts.

"My recollection was everyone in the team would have known," Mr Gorman told the Southwark Crown Court retrial.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dave Gorman is best known for TV shows including The Dave Gorman Collection

He said his "feeling was, if you think back to that time" that if he or his colleagues had called the police to report the alleged incident it "wouldn't have gone anywhere".

"He had been and gone.

"I recall discussions and questions about whether it had been a sort of 'Carry On film wahey', which might be playful, albeit ill-judged - or whether it was aggressive.

"My recollection was it was aggressive."

Mr Gorman said the alleged assault was "never at the front of my mind" over the years but he had not "completely forgotten" about it.

'Sour taste'

Stephen Vullo QC, representing Mr Travis, said his client had "no recollection" of the alleged victim.

In a police interview read to the court, Mr Travis said he "absolutely, categorically" did not grope the woman.

"I like to get on with people," he said.

"I don't like to leave people with a sour taste in their mouth.

"I suspect grabbing someone's breasts for 15 seconds would leave a sour taste in their mouth."

Image caption The Mrs Merton Show, starring Caroline Aherne, ran from 1995 to 1998

Also in the interview, he said: "I don't understand why I'm being vilified.

"I remember the days people used to touch people and you would kick them in the balls. You didn't take them to bloody court."

One woman, who is not a complainant in the case, told the court she was "dumbfounded" when Mr Travis put his hand between her legs as she served him drinks on the Isle Of Man in the 1980s.

Mr Travis told police the incident did not happen and said he did not remember the woman.

"I have respect for people beneath me," he added.

"I have stood on a street corner and had a good old conversation with a dust bin man. I have spoken to the Queen."

'Wrongdoing' comment

Detective Sergeant Gary Pankhurst told the court "thousands" of police hours had been spent on the investigation into Mr Travis.

Cross-examining the officer, Mr Vullo said: "There are some very troubling things that have happened in this case.

"I don't suggest you have done anything wrong but I don't absolve all police officers of wrongdoing."

Mr Vullo told the jury there was "evidence" that an alleged victim, who claims she was assaulted by Mr Travis at a pantomime, had been "tipped off" by police that the Chuckle Brothers could not remember an incident she reported.

The woman, who initially said she had seen the comedy duo during the alleged assault, later changed her evidence to say she only heard them walking past, the barrister said.

Mr Travis is being retried on one count of indecent assault of a woman in the 1990s and another of sexual assault on a different woman in 2008 - after a jury failed to reach verdicts earlier this year.

The 69-year-old, who is on trial under his real name, David Griffin, has also pleaded not guilty to the additional count of indecent assault alleged to have taken place in Manchester on 17 January 1995.

The trial continues.

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