A BLACK Country developer has come forward to say the supposed vandalism of a car park barrier in Lye was an accident.

Matthew Ling, who runs Ling Developments, said the van seen in video footage of the incident on the Jackson Street car park belongs to his company and two of the men caught on camera pushing the barrier are employed by him.

He said the two men, who are Romanian nationals, have worked as labourers for him for about five years and they informed him on Monday that there had been an incident in which the company van had suffered damage.

Mr Ling told the News: “They drove into the barrier – it caused quite a bit of damage to the van.”

He stressed the incident, which was captured in a Facebook live video on Sunday, was “an accident” and added: “We’ve spoken to the police about what happened. Those guys have done nothing wrong – they’ve been depicted quite badly.”

But he said initially when he saw the damaged van he “thought they’d been up to no good in it - so I sacked them”.

He blamed the language barrier for the misunderstanding and said after seeing the video of the incident he started to believe the version of events given and he added: “I was quite happy with their explanation.”

He said the men had since been reinstated and he said he would be contacting the council about the matter, adding: “They’re welcome to make a claim on our insurance.”

Councillor John Martin, Dudley Council's cabinet member for highways and environment, later said the owner of the van had been in touch and he added: "We will be dealing with this through our insurers.

“I like to thank the public for being vigilant.”

To see the video footage click here.