Cricket’s Ben Stokes holds court

STOKED CONTROVERSY: Ben Stokes arrives at the court for his trial.

A COURT has heard that England cricketer Ben Stokes mocked two gay men and flicked a cigarette butt at one of them before brawling with two other men.

The Durham all-rounder, who will miss the second test against India at Lord’s, denies affray.

Bristol Crown court heard that Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 27, were knocked unconscious by Stokes in Bristol on September 25 2017.

They also deny affray but are on trial alongside Stokes, with the fight outside a nightclub described as a “sustained episode of significant violence.”

Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, said Stokes, 27, “knocked Mr Hale unconscious and then did exactly the same to Mr Ali.”

Mr Corsellis described Ben Stokes’ actions as “well beyond acting in self-defence or defence of another.”

The incident took place in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol just after 2am just after the three defendants had left a nightclub.

Mr Corsellis also told the jury that a bottle was used at the beginning by Mr Ali, and a broken street sign was brought into the fray towards the end by Mr Hale.

Nightclub bouncer Andrew Cunningham gave evidence that beforehand, Stokes had mocked two “openly gay” men by mimicking their voices and mannerisms, including hand gestures, “in a derogatory way.”

The trial continues.

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