Page last updated at 18:37 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 19:37 UK

Presenter 'hit youth with pole'

Ashley Blake
Ashley Blake has denied hitting anyone

A BBC television presenter hit a 17-year-old boy with a wooden pole after a party at his restaurant, a court heard.

Midlands Today and Inside Out presenter Ashley Blake, 40, hit Greg Jones in the face, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Mr Blake denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm over the incident at The Place 2B in Chester Road, Sutton Coldfield, on 25 January.

He also denied an alternative charge of unlawful wounding and denied intending to pervert the course of justice.

The jury was told Mr Blake ran to fetch the 3ft (1m) long pole from behind the bar after customer Steven Sproule punched 17-year-old Adam Finn, leaving him unconscious on the ground.

Sproule, 38, of Boothes Farm Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, has pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

'Swung the pole'

The court heard Adam's friends were angry and Greg Jones was trying to calm the situation when he was attacked by Mr Blake in the early hours after the 18th birthday party.

Prosecutor Naomi Gilchrist said Mr Jones asked Mr Blake to call an ambulance, but did not hear a response.

"He then noticed the defendant was holding a pole in his hands," she said.

"As he noticed the pole the defendant swung the pole above his head and hit Greg Jones in the face with it."

Mr Jones suffered facial injuries to his lip and chin, the court heard.

Mr Blake denied hitting anyone with the pole and told police he got it to secure the doors to keep out crowds who were throwing furniture at staff.

The charge of perverting the course of justice relates to prosecution claims he threw the pole into a neighbouring garden centre in an attempt to conceal it from police, which Mr Blake also denies.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday.

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