'Gay men thanked me for protecting them', Ben Stokes affray trial told

10 August, 2018, 12:28 | Author: Alyssa Little
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   BEN STOKES CCTV of the England cricketer was shown to the court

Jurors have been shown CCTV footage of England cricketer Ben Stokes involved in an alleged "melee" outside a nightclub with two other men.

Stokes stands accused of affray alongside Ryan Hale, 27, and Ali, 28. All three men deny the charges.

Mr Spure described seeing Stokes punch Ali, who was trying to get away, with a "clenched fist" in the road.

He then described Stokes to be acting "spiteful, angry and like a bully" with no sign of playful banter between the parties.

Stokes will miss the second Test vs India due to the trial.

Stokes allegedly knocked Hale to the ground, before knocking out Ali last September. "He had a green T-shirt on".

The court had earlier been told by an onlooker that Stokes was the "main aggressor" in a fight in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol.

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"These men were speaking to the gay guys in what I would call a harsh and abusive way", the statement said.

In statements provided to the police in the aftermath of the incident and read to the court on the third day of the trial - the first time since the incident that Stokes' version of events has been made public - he also claimed that two men (Kai Barry and William O'Connor), who he claims had been subjected to "nasty homophobic abuse" from Ali and Hale, thanked him for protecting them.

"I chose to intervene and asked Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale to stop abusing Kai and William. I can only guess I thought I was going to be attacked". "Obviously it all happened very quickly but I am clear that I felt under threat of immediate attack from both these men and I did what I did only in order to defend myself".

Footage from a body camera worn by PC Stacey Alway, who arrested Mr Stokes, was shown to the jury.

"I decided at this point matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene to stop Ryan Ali", Stokes told police. And Stokes replied: "Because he was abusing my two friends for being gay".

On the CCTV footage shown to the jury, Stokes and fellow England cricketer Alex Hales are seen catching up with the four and overtaking them and then, the prosecution claimed, Stokes can be seen turning to look back at Barry and Ali. He said the pair "scuffled" on the floor, before Hale grabbed him from behind.


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