Ben Stokes’ trial ends; Jury retires to deliberate verdict on cricketer’s charges

Ben Stokes is accused of punching two men outside a Bristol pub in September 2017.

Ben Stokes with wife Clare | GettyThe jury in England cricketers Ben Stokes’s affray trial has retired to consider its verdicts.

Stokes is accused of punching Ryan Hale, 27, to the ground and knocking out Ryan Ali, 28, during an alleged brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol in September last year.

Ali suffered a broken eye socket, fractured tooth, cut to his eyebrow and bruises on his face in the alleged scrap; while Hale suffered a head wound.

It was alleged that Ben Stokes was "enraged" after a doorman refused to allow him and teammate Alex Hales back into a nightclub hours after England had beaten the West Indies in a one-day international in Bristol.

Court also heard that Stokes made fun of two gay men and “mimicked their voices and mannerisms in a derogatory manner,” before the fight.

Prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis accused the cricketer of being the "main aggressor” during the fight and said he hit the two men after “the red mist came down”.

Stokes's career has been on hold during the trial -- meaning he missed England's second Test victory over India at Lord's. He was not included in the England squad for the 3rd Test at Trent Bridge. A brief statement issued by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said they would review Stokes's position following the conclusion of the trial.

Mr. Hale, who was jointly accused of affray, was acquitted of the same charge by the jury of six men and six women on the direction of the judge on Thursday.

(with inputs from AFP)


By Jatin Sharma - 14 Aug, 2018

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