LONDON (Reuters) - Dave Lee Travis, one of Britain's best-known radio DJs in the 1970s and 1980s whose shows once delighted Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, escaped jail on Friday despite being convicted of a "nasty" indecent assault on a television researcher.
Travis, a former BBC Radio 1 DJ, was the latest ageing British celebrity to be convicted of sex crimes following police investigations launched in the wake of revelations that the late Jimmy Savile, one of the BBC's top TV presenters, had sexually abused hundreds of victims over decades.
The 69-year-old, who was found guilty on Tuesday, was told by the judge that although the offense was serious enough to warrant a three-month prison sentence, mitigating factors meant that he would suspend that jail term.
"It was a nasty thing to do but it was more than that. It was an intentional and unpleasant sexual assault," said Judge Anthony Leonard.
"You took advantage of a young woman in a vulnerable position whose job it was to look after you that day."
During two trials, Travis, appearing under his real name of David Griffin, was cleared of a string of sexual offences against women over three decades. However, he was convicted of one charge of assaulting the 22-year-old victim in 1995.
"You pinned her up against the wall and started to touch her rib cage and then slid your hands up over her breasts and her clothes, and started squeezing them," Leonard said.
He said that although the crime was serious, mitigating factors such as the DJ's health and the impact on his future job prospects, meant the three-month jail term could be suspended.
Travis had denied all the accusations, describing himself as a "big, hairy, cuddly bear" who was tactile but not a sexual predator. He accused the women of making up the claims to make money.
Among his fans was Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, who singled out his weekly show on the BBC World Service for making her world "much more complete" during her 15 years under house arrest between 1989 and 2010.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Angus MacSwan)