‘You used to be able to slap a woman’s backside for a laugh but now you would get arrested - it is a bit over the top.’
This is a statement I have heard at least half a dozen times in recent years from a variety of a acquaintances who all have one thing in common: they all remember the 1960s and 1970s.
Last week former radio DJ Dave Lee Travis was given a suspended three month jail sentence for an indecent assault on a 22-year-old television worker nearly two decades ago. Because the jury believed her evidence DLT, the man who contributed to the soundtrack of the lives of millions of us over 35, is a convicted sex offender.
After he was spared jail last week DLT could not resist the banks of microphones and television cameras which awaited him as he left the court building.
He told how he was “mortified” by his conviction and pointed to his many acquittals which he said proved he was not a sexual predator. He did not once say sorry to his victim, who had has since spoken of the ordeal of being branded a “fantasist and a liar”.
That the judge in his case said it was an “intentional and unpleasant sexual assault” mattered not to the Hairy Cornflake. There are clearly many out there who agree with his stance that he has fallen foul of a witch hunt which was started to make up for the authorities doing nothing to stop Jimmy Savile while he was alive.
One female commentator said that DLT deserved a kick in the family jewels and should not have been dragged through a crown court trial. That is missing the point - the charge he was convicted of carries a maximum two-year jail term so it is serious.
The world has changed - we live in a society where discrimination is no longer considered to be a laugh, where people of the same sex can get married rather than be ridiculed and that the victims of sexual offence feel they can speak out.
I for one feel that this current purge of out-of-date attitudes is a good thing and anything but a politically correct witch hunt.