Balcony-leap lover ‘left in wheelchair by rival’s attack’

An athlete who jumps from one building to another was left in a wheelchair when a love rival pushed him as he was about to leap from a balcony, a court heard.

William Asante, 29, was a ‘free runner’ who performed amazing feats high above homes and offices.

He was caught semi-naked in bed at the home of Ternika Blanchard by her husband Dwain Dyer, 30.

Mr Asante tried to escape from Dyer by performing one of his death-defying leaps but Dyer pushed him and the victim plummeted to the ground, it is claimed. He fractured his skull and is barely able to talk because of brain damage.

The Old Bailey heard Ms Blanchard, 25, had three children by Dyer but he was controlling and possessive even though they lived together much of the time.

They married but Ms Blanchard had started seeing Mr Asante.

The court heard free running was Mr Asante’s hobby and he had thrilled crowds at a barbecue by jumping from the roof.

Most Read

But his exploits got him into trouble when he was baby sitting the children and decided to jump from the window of their house. He could not get back in and the children were taken into care after the police were called to break down the door. When Dyer found out what had happened he sent abusive texts to Mr Asante.

The court heard Ms Blanchard was due to have a court hearing about the children last October. She left her home in Upper Road, Plaistow, to be confronted by Dyer running towards her.

“Ternika called to William to come and help her but he wasn’t quick enough and Dyer was able to barge his way into the flat. He was plainly in a very bad mood,” said prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse. “Dyer swore at her as Mr Asante escaped on to the balcony, pretending he was going to get his jumper or coat.

Witnesses below saw the two men on the balcony and saw Dyer push Mr Asante in the chest, the court heard.

“He tried unsuccessfully to push the victim off the balcony once and then tried again and was successful,” Miss Whitehouse said. She described the incident as a flip over the balcony. “The aggressor simply turned and walked away.”

Mr Asante was found on the ground with his head bleeding and moving from side to side. He was flown to hospital by helicopter ambulance and is in rehabilitation in hospital. Mr Asante has severe amnesia and is barely able to tell what had happened to him.

Dyer, of no fixed address, refused to answer police questions. He denies attempted murder. The trial continues.