Ben Stokes joined fight after hearing homophobic slurs

Rex Christensen
August 10, 2018

His defence has been built around an assertion that he wanted to defend a gay couple who were receiving "homophobic abuse" from Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali - who Stokes allegedly knocked unconscious.

The Durham all-rounder, who denies affray, has taken to the stand for a second day at Bristol Crown Court.

Stokes denied he was "enraged" in the clip, and said he could not hear his colleague because "there was a lot of shouting at the time".

Ryan Hale, 27, was acquitted of the same charge on Thursday.

But, he maintained Mr Ali and Mr Hale made homophobic comments outside the club in the Clifton triangle area of Bristol during the early hours of 25 September past year.

He was also accused of "not telling the truth to this jury" about the "mimicking and mocking" he claims Mr Hale and Ali directed at the couple.

Mr Stokes told the jury he was not "threatening or aggressive" towards the men. "At the time of that situation, I constantly felt under threat from Mr Ali".

"He then turns his attention away from me and starts charging towards my friend, Ryan Hale, who is still unconscious in the road", he said.

After putting Stokes in handcuffs, the police officer explains that Stokes is being arrested because, "there is a guy...covered in blood and I've been told you punched him".

Mr Ali denied being the "initial aggressor" in the incident and replied "definitely not" when asked if he had been looking for a fight.

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Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, suggested the reason he was having problems remembering exactly what happened that night was because he was "actually really very drunk", which Stokes denied.

He said he accepted at one stage turning a bottle upside down in order "to defend myself".

Mr Ali said the last thing he remembered before waking up in the road was "backing away from Mr Stokes, and getting him into a headlock".

Mr Stokes replied: "No, all my actions were in self-defence and fearing for my safety". I can make my own perception from all of the CCTV.

"You know you were angry and this CCTV was you looking angry, isn't it?"

Earlier, Mr Stokes admitted throwing several punches at a man outside the club.

Giving evidence for a second day, Stokes explained he had drunk a bottle of beer immediately after the one-day global win against the West Indies and then had two or three pints back at the hotel over dinner.

"I said to him "Come on mate, I've got shit tattoos as well, let us back in", he told the court.

When the prosecutor asked what Mr Stokes was looking at, he said: "I might just be looking at the night sky".

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