Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

England cricketer Ben Stokes mocked gay couple before brawl, court told

England cricketer Ben Stokes mocked gay couple before brawl, court told

All three men deny a charge of affray at Bristol crown court and claim that they were... The fight took place outside after 2:00am on Sept 25 a year ago, the prosecutor said.

"Stokes has just flicked something which we believe was a cigarette butt at William O'Connor".

Further down the street, he fought his co-defendants in a "sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked".

Looking out of his bedroom window, film student Max Wilson said he saw a group of men "acting like football hooligans" and started filming the scene. "Well beyond acting in self defence or defence of another", he said.

CCTV and mobile phone footage played to the jury showed Stokes advancing on Hale and knocking him to the ground with one punch. The defendant, Ben Stokes, is a professional cricket player who has reached the top of his profession and represented his country.

He was supported by wife Clare in the public gallery.

Australia haven't played a Test since the final match of the series, in which Smith didn't play.

In his absence, England fell to a crushing 4-0 series defeat, surrendering the urn back to the Aussies.

The fight took place outside a Bristol nightclub after 2:00am on September 25 previous year, the prosecutor said, just hours after Stokes played in a one-day worldwide win over the West Indies. "They left and walked up the road".

Mr Cunningham described Mr Barry and Mr O'Connor as "effeminate" and "flamboyant" and told the court Mr Stokes had "made noises" and "camp hand gestures" to mock them.

Stokes is seen on the CCTV lighting a cigarette outside the club and at 2.14am he is still smoking and is in conversation with Mr Cunningham and Hales.

"A bottle was used at the beginning by Mr Ali and a broken street sign brought into the fray towards the end by Mr Hale". Neither Mr Barry nor Mr O'Connor will be giving evidence. Mr Corsellis said CCTV showed Mr Barry grabbing Ali's groin, then trying to take his arm.

His footage showed Ali raising a bottle at Alex Hales.

'Is this banter between them or is there something more sinister going on, ' he asked the jury.

Mr Ali said "move away, move away" and Mr Hale said "stop, stop", Mr Corsellis told the court. The violence that erupted could actually have stopped very quickly and it would have remained a relatively minor incident.

"He knocked Mr Hale unconscious and then did the same to Mr Ali".

"Mr Ali received significant injuries included a fractured eye socket and required hospital treatment".

Mr Corsellis added: 'This was not a trivial moment of unpleasantness.

The fight outside a nightclub was "a sustained episode of significant violence" in which Mr Stokes "lost control", jurors were told.

Corsellis said all three defendants were men with reputable promise, but that didn't defend them from their duty to behave.

"Equally, Mr Ali has worked for the emergency services and Mr Hale has served his country in the armed forces".

Police arrived and Stokes was arrested.

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