Ben Stokes trial – LIVE: Cricketer ‘felt under threat at all times’ during fight near nightclub

Ben Stokes will continue to give evidence on Friday after telling a court he felt “under threat” at all times when he knocked two men unconscious during a fight near a nightclub.

The 27-year-old England cricketer is accused of punching two friends, Ryan Hale, 27, and Ryan Ali, 28, during an alleged brawl in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol on 25 September last year.

Stokes, an all-rounder who plays for Durham, is standing trial at Bristol Crown Court jointly accused of affray alongside Ali.

Hale was acquitted of the same charge by the jury of six men and six women on the direction of the judge on Thursday.

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Stokes says he “would not offer £300 to get back to even the best club,” denying claims he offered £60 and then £300 to get back into the Mbargo in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol.

The prosecution suggested he had “launched a retaliatory attack” against Ali and Mr Hale, but Stokes insists his actions “were in self-defence.”

Ben Stokes is currently being cross-examined.

 

He has been accused of “hiding behind” his failure to remember certain details of what led up to the fight.

Stokes said he took a swing at Ali, before the men tussled and fell to the floor. Mr Hale then came up behind him and grabbed him.

“There were arms around the top of my body, arms around my legs and trying to keep me down on the floor,” he told the court.

The cricketer said he got back to his feet and saw Mr Hale stood in front of him.

“I felt under threat by these two and felt I had to do whatever it was to keep myself and others around me safe,” he said.

Yesterday, Stokes told the court he felt “under threat” at all times when he knocked two men unconscious during a fight near a nightclub.

 

He denied claims he mocked two gay men, Kai Barry and William O’Connor, outside the Mbargo nightclub and flicked a cigarette butt at them.

Instead, he insisted he had stepped in to protect Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor after hearing his friends, Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali – who had a glass bottle – shout homophobic abuse at them.

Welcome to The Independent‘s live coverage as ben Stokes continues to give evidence at the fifth day of his trial at Bristol Crown Court.

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CCTV appears to show Ben Stokes mocking and throwing cigarette at gay man outside Bristol nightclub

On Thursday, the cricketer denied claims he mocked two gay men, Kai Barry and William O’Connor, outside the Mbargo nightclub and flicked a cigarette butt at them.

Instead, he insisted he had stepped in to protect Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor after hearing Mr Hale and Ali – who had a glass bottle – shout homophobic abuse at them. 

Ben Stokes fights with group of men outside Bristol nightclub

Stokes, of Stockton Road, Castle Eden, Durham, and Ali, of Forest Road, Bristol, each deny a charge of affray.

The trial continues.

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