Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 17:23 UK

BBC man convicted of wounding boy

Ashley Blake
Ashley Blake was told he could face a custodial sentence

A BBC presenter accused of hitting a boy with a pole has been found guilty of unlawful wounding and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Ashley Blake, 40, who presents Midlands Today, denied attacking Greg Jones, 17, outside his Place 2 B bar in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, in January.

He was cleared of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The judge at Birmingham Crown Court warned Blake that the "most likely outcome" was a custodial sentence.

Judge Peter Carr said: "You have been convicted of a serious offence which involved wounding a young man."

Ashley has been found guilty of serious offences and we will need time to carefully consider the findings of the court before taking action
A BBC spokesman

He told Blake that it was "almost inevitable" he would be jailed.

The presenter was remanded on bail, with sentencing set for 2 September.

Speaking after the trial, Blake said: "There are no words to describe how I'm feeling right now.

"(I am) just gutted, absolutely gutted... it's all over, isn't it? My job - everything."

A BBC spokesman said: "Ashley has been found guilty of serious offences and we will need time to carefully consider the findings of the court before taking action."

Blake, who also presents Inside Out, told the court he used the wooden pole as a "bat" to ward off bottles and other missiles thrown at him by up to 30 people.

The court heard he ran to fetch the pole - measuring about 3ft long and one-and-a-half inches wide - from behind the bar after customer Steven Sproule punched 17-year-old Adam Finn in the face, leaving him unconscious on the ground.

'State of shock'

Sproule, 38, of Booths Farm Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The court heard that Mr Finn's friends became upset following the attack and that Mr Jones was trying to calm the situation when he was injured by Blake.

He suffered injuries to his lip and his chin.

Blake was arrested at the scene and, when interviewed by police, denied wielding the pole.

He changed his story when shown CCTV footage of him fetching the pole from behind the bar.

Blake admitted to the court that he lied to police, saying he was in a state of shock following the incident.

Outside the court, Mr Jones's father, Steven said: "I'm just pleased Ashley Blake got what he deserves.

"He lied to the police, he lied on several occasions."



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