Television presenter Ashley Blake has admitted to a jury that he lied ‘several’ times to police after being accused of attacking a teenager with a wooden pole
The BBC newsreader said he was “tired, scared and in a state of shock” after being arrested following the violent disorder at an 18th birthday party at his former bar and restaurant The Place 2 B in Sutton Coldfield.
The 40-year-old, who co-owned the venue with partner Jessica Hayes, but has since left, allegedly swung a patio umbrella pole above his head and hit 17-year-old Greg Jones in the face.
Blake denies wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawful wounding.
He has also pleaded not guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice by throwing the wooden pole - measuring 3ft and one and a half inches wide - into a neighbouring garden centre in an attempt to conceal it from police.
Blake told Birmingham Crown Court he “feared for his life” said he used the pole as a “bat” to fend off the bottles, ashtrays and broken-up furniture being hurled at him by a crowd of up 30 people.
When asked why he lied during police interviews about having the pole in his hands after fetching it from inside, Blake, said: “I told a number of lies to the police because I was scared and I was not thinking straight and I was very confused.
“I had been up over 24 hours by this stage. I had already completed a 16-hour shift when the violence happened.
“I was tired, I had not slept, I was not thinking straight. I was thinking about all sorts of things, my reputation, my job, thinking about what had happened, how the hell it had happened, all sorts of things were going through my mind and I was scared.”
Blake said he lied to deflect the blame from himself to the group of revellers. He said: “I lied to push the blame more onto them. I was being blamed for causing an injury to a young man I had never seen before. I was scared.”
When asked by prosecutor Naomi Gilchrist why he had thrown away the pole he replied: “I threw it in my garden at the back of the Place2B.
“I just did not think with what had gone on that it would look good. I thought it would be misconstrued by the police.”
Miss Gilchrist said: “You thought you were going to talk your way out of it. You lied to police because you thought they would believe you - a BBC reporter over a bunch of youths who were drunk.”
Blake was accused of lying during his evidence. He said: “I am not telling the jury lies. Since I came to the dock I have not told one single lie.”
The case continues.