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Stokes Claimed he Punched Man For Abusing Gay Couple, Court Hears

10 August, 2018, 12:27 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Ben Stokes was at Bristol Crown Court for the second day of his trial

The jury at the trial of England cricketer Ben Stokes has been told that he was verbally abusive to a Bristol nightclub bouncer and mocked two gay men who were leaving the club.

Stokes, who is standing trial for affray alongside Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, was described as "trying to get at another individual" by Mark Spure, an off-duty member of the police force, who witnessed part of the incident.

When asked about separating Stokes and Ali, Spure told the court: "The individual seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to another individual".

But in a statement provided to police and heard in court Wednesday, Stokes said he only stepped in after hearing two men being homophobic toward two other men.

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Stokes told officers: "I said something like "leave it out, you shouldn't be taking the p*** because they're gay".

Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, told the jury: "Mr Cunningham observed Mr Stokes's behaviour towards them".

Ali also described how, as he lay "in the gutter" having allegedly been punched by Stokes, he made a phone call to the council's CCTV office to ensure they had footage of the incident.

PC Stacey Alway, who arrested Stokes, told the court: "From the moment I approached him (Stokes) he calmed down and was compliant".

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England Cricketer Ben Stokes walks into Bristol Crown Court on August 6, 2018 in Bristol, England.

Jurors have previously heard claims that Mr Hales, who was never arrested in relation to the incident, stamped and kicked Ali as he lay on the floor.

"One of the guys responded - he said "shut up or I'll bottle you" in an aggressive tone to me". We knew that they were prepared to use weapons that could do serious injury and I feared they could have other weapons with them.

Ali was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary by ambulance, with doctors noting that he had suffered a fracture to the left side of his face.

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His left eye was swollen and he had a laceration above his eyebrow, a cracked tooth and bruising to his head. In it, Ali denied saying anything offensive to either Barry or O'Connor, but accepted that "one of the guys" became "quite irate" after "banter" between the men. "As I was on my own, when I separated two of them more people carried on behind me", the statement continued.

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