BBC ‘edited Dave Lee Travis sex attack out of Top of the Pops’

Lindsay Watling — Evening Standard Jan 17, 2014

The friend of a teenager allegedly molested by Dave Lee Travis as he introduced a hit on Top of the Pops today accused the BBC of editing the clip to “get rid of” the sex attack.

His alleged victim, 17 at the time, had earlier told jurors at Southwark crown court that the DJ requested she stand next him, pulled her close, shoved his hand up her skirt, “fondled” her bottom and tried to get into her underwear.

She said the alleged incident in 1978 when he was announcing The Smurf Song had left her feeling “violated” and “uncomfortable”.

The friend, who attended the show with her and who also features in the clip, said she believed the presenter’s introduction was “a lot longer” than what appeared in the episode that was broadcast. She suggested it had been “seriously shrunk”.

She added: “He commentated a lot longer..the camera was about 10-12 feet away from us and came towards us. So when I watched it back with other friends it felt like just the head part of us rather than the body shot that I think would have been there originally.”

Stephen Vullo, defending, asked: “So you are saying the BBC had edited this video to get rid of the touching? Is that what you thought?” to which she replied: “That’s what we thought.

“It ruined the whole night, the whole memory actually.”

The alleged victim said earlier she was “shocked” the clip had been used at all, but insisted she was not claiming there had been a conspiracy at the broadcaster.

She said she could not watch the pre-recorded show when it aired and did not see it until police officers showed it to her 2012.

“I just really didn’t want to (watch it). I would have been under the impression it would have been cut,” she added.

“I was shocked that you could see there must have been something happening to me to make a face like that.

“I think my face explains how I felt at the time – very uncomfortable.

“I’m not focusing at all on what’s going on. My eyes are everywhere and there’s a grimace at the end.”

Describing the details of the incident the alleged victim said:”He put his arm round me and pulled me towards him…then he slipped his hand down and put it up my skirt.

“I can only really describe it as having a fumble in my bottom area. I think he was trying to get into my underwear.

“He was introducing the next act as if nothing was happening. That’s why I could not comprehend what was going on…I felt really, really uncomfortable. I felt in a state of shock really.

“I remember telling my friend (who was with me) because I felt violated and thought I had been vulnerable.

“The main thing is the camera crew and everyone else was there. In front of all those people that’s what made it more uncomfortable.”

When Mr Vullo suggested the incident had not happened and that she was in fact smiling in the clip shown to jurors, she replied: “110 per cent not true.”

He said: “You smile because you were perfectly happy to be where you were and nothing happened to you.”

She replied: “A lot of photos are taken, they don’t always tell the truth.

“I know the truth.”

Before that there was evidence from a former receptionist at a hotel in Cornwall where Travis stayed when he was doing a Radio 1 roadshow during the early 1980s.

She told jurors the defendant groped her bum after she carried his suitcase up to his room and later asked her: “Will I be having the pleasure of your company later on?”

Travis, 68, known as DLT but charged under his real name David Griffin, denies 13 indecent assaults between 1976 and 2003 and sexual assault by touching in 2008 involving 10 women and a girl of 15.

Travis was living in Mentmore, near Leighton Buzzard, but has recently moved house and has been allowed not to give his new address in open court by Judge Anthony Leonard.

He has consistently denied any wrongdoing since he was first arrested on suspicion of sex offences last November.

He was first charged in August as part of Operation Yewtree, the police investigation prompted by the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal, but the accusations against Travis have no connection to the disgraced television presenter.

The trial continues.