THE Repair Shop’s Jay Blades has revealed that laughing police officers called him a “black b*****d” while beating him up at the age of 14.
The 51-year-old star recently opened up about battling racism and homelessness, with his mum Barbara moving to the UK from Barbados when she was just 13 – having Jay five years later.
Jay was targeted by racist police officers aged 14[/caption]
And even those who were supposed to offer him safety and security failed him, with Jay reflecting on the harrowing encounter with coppers in his new book.
The Mirror report that the TV favourite was walking home in North West London at the age of 14 when the van pulled up beside him.
Jay recalls: “The back doors swung open and there were five or six uniformed policemen sitting in the van waiting for me. They didn’t even bother to search me. They just beat the s**t out of me.
“It was brutal. They were laying into me with fists, feet and truncheons, and all I could do was roll into a ball on the floor of the van and wait, pray, for it to end. It probably lasted two minutes but it felt a lot, lot longer.
Jay pictured as a child in the ’80s[/caption]
With his mum, who moved to the UK from Barbados aged 13[/caption]
“They were laughing: ‘This’ll show you, black b*****d. When they’d had enough they chucked me out and drove off.”
Even more shockingly, Jay goes on to say that this was “normal in the ’80s”, adding: “Sometimes you weren’t really badly beaten up. Other times they’d pick you up, beat you up and drive off with you.
“Every now and again you get a kick in the back or a stamp on the arm. They’d throw you out in an area that was predominantly white, and you’d have to find your way out of that area because if the racists saw you there they’d chase you.
“People will be shocked by that, but within the black communities it was a normal occurrence. No one reported it, because you’d be reporting it to the racist police.”
Jay’s experiences with racism lead to him growing up violent and angry, regularly getting into fights and dropping out of school – ending up on the streets before being given respite by the Salvation Army.
He went on to have a successful career and is now a The Repair Shop favourite[/caption]
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However, he eventually went to university where he met first wife Jade – who he set up two charities with called Street Dreams and Out Of The Dark that helped young people failed by the education system.
Jay began teaching them how to restore furniture, which led to TV appearances on Channel 4’s Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas.
While his marriage to Jade crumbled, and Jay hit a dark place mentally, he was able to pull through the hard times before creating his furniture restoration business Jay&Co.
Fans now know him from BBC hit The Repair Shop.