Ben Stokes’ Wife ‘wipes Away Tears’ As Cricket Ace Is Found Not Guilty Of Affray After Boozy Street Brawl


ENGLAND cricket ace Ben Stokes has today been cleared of affray after punching two men in a boozy street brawl.

The all-rounder, 27, was found not guilty following a six-day trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Reuters Ben Stokes, 27, arrives at Bristol Crown Court with wife Clare today

Stokes punched former soldier Ryan Hale, 27, and fireman Ryan Ali, 28, while on a night out in Bristol on September 25 last year.

He was also accused of mocking the “camp behaviour” of two gay men and flicking a cigarette butt at one of their heads.

Ali, who was left with a black eye and a fractured socket, was also cleared of affray today.

Stokes said he “constantly felt under threat” from Ali and he described him as acting in an “aggressive and violent” way.

The court was shown CCTV footage of the brawl, with Stokes in green

The court was shown CCTV footage of the brawl, with Stokes in green

Today a jury found the England cricketer not guilty of affray following two-and-a-half-hours of deliberations.

Jurors were shown CCTV footage on Friday which showed Stokes being refused entry to Mbargo nightclub because it was after 2am.

Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, asked him who he was speaking to when he was looking up at the night sky – to which Stokes replied: “God?”

News Group Newspapers Ltd Co-accused Ryan Ali at court today ahead of the verdict

PA:Press Association Ryan Hale was left with a cut lift following the brawl

Stokes had earlier admitted downing Jagerbombs and the jury heard he had at least 10 drinks while celebrating England’s win over the West Indies.

The court previously heard how the 6ft 2ins all-rounder “mimicked” gay men Kai Barry and William O’Connor outside a club.

Stokes denied “bullying” the couple, but bouncer Andrew said he was “laughing at them, not with them”.

He and teammate Alex Hales had been refused entry to the club by bouncer Andrew Cunningham, who claims Stokes insulted his gold teeth and “s**t” tattoos.

PA:Press Association Bodycam footage was released which showed the cricket star being arrested

PA:Press Association Police released a mugshot of Stokes on Wednesday New CCTV shows England cricketer Ben Stokes ‘tossing a cigarette butt at gay man before street fight’

Bouncer Andrew also claimed Stokes tried to bribe him with £300 in a failed attempt to gain entry into the club.

Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, told the jury on the opening day of Stokes’ trial that Ali and Ryan Hale needed hospital treatment after Stokes “lost control” during a brawl.

Video footage shows Stokes pursuing Hale, who is holding his hands out in defence, before punching him in the face and knocking him out.

The footage then shows Ali appearing to raise a bottle and strike Mr Barry with it.

Mr Corsellis said: “Mr Stokes lost his control and started to attack with revenge or retaliation in mind.

“He knocked Mr Hale unconscious and then, after enough time to pause for thought, did the same to Mr Ali, who received significant injuries.

“It was a sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked at what was taking place.”

The CCTV footage also showed Stokes apparently flicking a cigarette end

PA:Press Association Stokes arriving at Bristol Crown Court today ahead of the verdict

Mr Corsellis said on the video Ali can be heard saying “Move away, move away,” Hale yelling “Stop, Stop!” and Alex Hales urging his friend: “Stokes, that’s enough!”

In his evidence, Durham star Stokes told the court he had reacted after Ali started “waving” a bottle around.

He said: “To start off with he had threatened me, he then ran at one of my friends with a bottle threatening to hit him. I was trying to stop Mr Ali doing damage to anyone with a glass bottle.

“I remember taking a punch at Mr Ali, both of us rolling around the floor.

“I remember someone else coming up behind me and grabbing at me.

News Group Newspapers Ltd Bouncer Andy Cunningham said Stokes mocked his tattoos and teeth and arrived at court to give evidence today

AP:Associated Press Stokes will miss England’s second Test with India which starts on Saturday

� Julia Quenzler Ben Stokes, Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali in the dock last week

“One had already told me what he would do. I felt under threat by these two. He had ran at a close friend of mine with a bottle.

“As soon as I decided to get involved I felt that I was under threat and what I did was in defence of myself.”

But the prosecutor has suggested Stokes has a “significant memory blackout” regarding the night in question.

Stokes, who denied being drunk despite having at least 10 drinks, replied: “You could say that, yes.”

Today, Mr Corsellis suggested Stokes had been lying in his evidence and told jurors he “moved way away from self defence and began to become the aggressor himself”.

The prosecutor also said the reason for the fight is unknown but a local who filmed the incident said the men were “acting like football hooligans”.

Audio of police 999 call made on night of incident involving cricketer Ben Stokes outside Mbargo nightclub in Bristol

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