Ben Stokes admits in court to have drunk considerably before the pub brawl

Ben Stokes admits in court to have drunk considerably before the pub brawl

Ben Stokes defended himself in the court saying that he wasn't taunting the two men.

Ben Stokes seen in the video footage knocking a man outEngland all-rounder Ben Stokes admitted to having at least seven vodka and mixer drinks and two-three beers before the brawl outside the Bristol pub in September last year.

Stokes is standing trial at the Bristol Crown Court accused of knocking out two men outside a nightclub in Bristol. 

Prosecutors say Stokes was the "main aggressor" in a fight that happened outside the nightclub, in presence of his England teammate Alex Hales. The duo had gone to the pub after England’s win over West Indies in an ODI.

Stokes had been partying with Hales at the Mbargo nightclub but left the club at 12:46 am but the pair returned at 2:08 am and were refused entry because the club was closed. Stokes allegedly hurled insulting comments at the door supervisor.

In a statement provided to police and heard in court Wednesday, Stokes said he only stepped in after hearing two men being homophobic toward two other men. Stokes said, "matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene."

Stokes himself is accused of earlier mocking the gay men outside the club and flicking a cigarette butt at them. Stokes denies taunting them, telling police they "thanked me for preventing them from being beaten up."

Stokes then spoke to two men - Kai Barry and William O'Connor - who were described by the prosecutor as "flamboyant, extrovert and openly gay." A video camera footage, which doesn’t have any audio shows Stokes flicking a cigarette towards one of the men.

Citing testimony from the doorman, Corsellis said Stokes was "mimicking their voices and mannerisms ... making fun of their camp behavior" before leaving the area in an "angry state of mind."

"As the group came to my attention, I heard some of what was being said. Although I can't remember anything specific now, I do recall that the language being used was homophobic in nature and was being directed at Kai and William by Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali," ESPNCricinfo quotes Stokes as saying in a written statement.

"What Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale were saying was far from harmless banter, it was nasty homophobic abuse. I decided to intervene and asked Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale to stop abusing Kai and William. I said something like 'leave it out - you shouldn't be taking the piss because they're gay.' In response one of the guys said 'Shut the f*** up and f**** off or I'll bottle you.'

"I decided at this point matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene to stop Ryan Ali. I struck Ryan Ali with my right hand just after he had delivered the blow on Kai and as he came at me with the bottle and had it raised. At this point, I felt vulnerable and frightened. I was concerned for myself and others. We knew that they were prepared to use weapons that could do serious injury and I feared they could have other weapons with them.

"The force I used in defending us was reasonable and entirely justified when the circumstances are viewed objectively. Amongst other things, Ryan Ali attacked Alex and Kai, with a weapon, when asked simply to stop using the homophobic abuse he was giving to Kai and William. This was an extreme act of aggression in the circumstances and informed my assessment of the situation," Stokes's statement further added.

(with inputs from IndiaToday.in)


By Jatin Sharma - 10 Aug, 2018

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