BBC newsreader sacked after conviction for wounding teenager

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Friday, August 14, 2009

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A BBC newsreader has lost his job after he was found guilty of unlawful wounding of a teenager. Ashley Blake, 40, who presented Midlands Today, attacked Greg Jones, 17, with a wooden pole outside a bar in Birmingham in January. Jones received injuries to his lip and chin.

The trial took place at Birmingham Crown Court and concluded on August 3. The presenter, who was arrested at the scene, denied the attack and claimed he used the pole to protect himself from bottles being thrown at him by up to thirty people. Blake was also convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The judge told Blake it was "almost inevitable" he was going to be sent to jail.

A BBC spokesman released a statement that said, "Ashley Blake was found guilty last week of two serious charges. An internal process has resulted in Ashley's dismissal which is effective immediately."

After the conviction, Blake spoke to reporters, saying, "[I am] just gutted, absolutely gutted ... it's all over, isn't it? My job — everything." Blake is scheduled to be sentenced on September 2.