A MAN who said he had three kitchen knives in a pub car park to protect his friend who was being attacked has been cleared by a jury.

Darius Creer, 37, was charged with having a bladed article in a public place without a reasonable excuse in the car park of the Bullnose Morris pub, Blackbird Leys, on April 26 last year.

Judge Patrick Eccles told a jury at Oxford Crown Court there was no doubt the BMW worker had the knives, but it was their job to decide if his excuse of going to the defence of his friend was reasonable.

Mr Creer, of Pochard Place, Blackbird Leys, told the jury how he had gone for a drink with his wife and friends in the evening, when he had spotted his friend in the pub car park surrounded by a gang of between 16 and 20 men.

CCTV camera footage played to the court showed Mr Creer going into the kitchen of the pub and coming out with three knives, including a bread knife, before walking back to the car park.

Mr Creer said once he was back outside the gang “swarmed” him and his friend before police arrived, although this was not captured on CCTV.

The jury took less than two hours to acquit Mr Creer unanimously.