I was trying to protect duo, Stokes says

By Rod Minchin and Claire Hayhurst,


26 Have your say

    England cricketer Ben Stokes has told a jury he joined a fracas after hearing two revellers shout homophobic abuse at two gay men in Bristol.

    The allrounder, 27, is accused of knocking out two friends, Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali, during an alleged fight in Bristol on September 25.

    Stokes, who plays for Durham, is standing trial at Bristol Crown Court jointly accused of affray alongside Ali.

    Hale was found not guilty of the same charge by the jury on the direction of the judge on Thursday.

    The cricketer denied claims he mocked two gay men, Kai Barry and William O’Connor, outside the Mbargo nightclub and flicked a cigarette butt at them.

    He insisted he had instead stepped in to protect Barry and O’Connor after hearing Hale and Ali, who had a glass beer bottle, shout homophobic abuse at them.

    “Mr Hale and Mr Ali were shouting homophobic comments towards these two and in return Mr O’Connor and Mr Barry were going back to them,” Stokes told the jury.

    “They weren’t obviously going to let them say what they were saying. I stepped in. [I said] ‘You shouldn’t take the piss because they are gay’.

    “I was told by Mr Ali along the lines of ‘Shut the f*** up or I will bottle you’.

    “As soon as I see Mr Ali swing the bottle at someone and physically hit them with it, that’s when I took the decision that I needed to get involved.

    The court heard Stokes was in Bristol at the time of the incident, having played a one-day international against the West Indies.

    Under direction from his barrister, Gordon Cole QC, Stokes held up his hands and showed the jury injuries sustained from playing his sport.

    The cricketer said he consumed about three or four pints of lager and five or six vodka and lemonades on the evening.

    However, they were refused entry by door supervisor Andrew Cunningham as it was after 2am.

    Stokes said the cricketers offered Cunningham around PS60 or PS70 ($104 or $120) to get them into the club, which was turned down.

    “I said to him ‘Come on mate, I’ve got shit tattoos as well, let us back in’,” he told the court.

    “I am constantly getting told by teammates and by who I play with that I have got shit tattoos.”

    He denied making a V-sign to Cunningham, calling him a c*** or mentioning his four gold front teeth.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (26)

    • August 11th 2018 @ 10:48am
      JimmyB said | August 11th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

      I know that it’s easy content, but the Roar seems to have fetishised the Stokes trial, usually there is more than one article per day. Now I understand that there’s a bit of an audience for it as some of the posters on here have been regularly frothing at the mouth over each new salacious detail BUT there’s actually some cricket going on and we have complete radio silence. Not a whisper, not a mention let alone an article or some videos…wouldn’t be because England are doing alright would it? Or is that just me being cynical?! Don’t answer that. 😉

      • August 12th 2018 @ 8:59pm
        Jameswm said | August 12th 2018 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

        There’s a lot of sport going on in Australia. League ad AFL hotting up for the semis. Super final and Bledisloe next weekend. What makes you think a cricket test between England and India would be front page?

        A drunken brawl and the player’s story being directly refuted – that wouldn’t be a big news story in England, right? For example, Warnie taking 6-for in Australia against Pakistan in December mid football season, vs Warnie getting caught out with another woman and CCTV footage of him in his undies. Which would be the bigger story in England?

        • August 13th 2018 @ 6:59am
          Neil Back said | August 13th 2018 @ 6:59am | ! Report

          Oh I dunno.

          Maybe because last time I looked this is the cricket section, not rugby or AFL, and you just made a desperate point.

          Maybe because the number one ranked test team is playing the team the haters love to hate.

          Maybe because no one is expecting front page comment.

          Maybe because the next test series India play is against Australia.

          Maybe because this site has pretensions to be about sport.

          Maybe because this site attracts intelligent, informed and often amusing contributors.

          Maybe because troll feeding time gets a little bit out of balance and repetitive, playing to the lowest common denominators living on here. James.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 10:38am
            jameswm said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:38am | ! Report

            If you were a fish…

            Indeed Nudge.

            • August 13th 2018 @ 11:32am
              Neil Back said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

              Nah. Own your embarrassment like a man.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 10:55am
            JimmyB said | August 13th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

            What he said.

        • August 13th 2018 @ 7:21am
          Nudge said | August 13th 2018 @ 7:21am | ! Report

          Haha. Nailed it James. A bit sensitive our English friends

          • August 13th 2018 @ 9:31am
            George said | August 13th 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

            Except that when England lose a home Test, Ronan is all over it like a rash.

          • August 13th 2018 @ 11:00am
            JimmyB said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:00am | ! Report

            Nudge, obviously we all know that this is an Aussie site, made for Aussies by Aussies and some of us are just unwelcome interlopers but I reckon even some Aussies (like your good self for instance) may be more interested in a test match, albeit one not involving Australia than the Caribbean Premier League.
            I trust that when England suffer their next inevitable batting collapse that we will see and hear nothing about it too. 😉

            • August 13th 2018 @ 11:12am
              Nudge said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

              Gday Jimmy, just find it interesting that you had reason to complain about the roar publishing an article about the Stokes saga, yet for the first day or 2 not one Australian made a comment in the comments section.
              I really think you are being a little precious mate and I’m not having a crack at you by saying that.
              If you read James explanation and you’re honest with yourself he nailed it spot on

              • August 13th 2018 @ 11:29am
                JimmyB said | August 13th 2018 @ 11:29am | ! Report

                Precious moi?
                How very dare you! 😉
                Morning Nudge,
                You might not be surprised to find that I disagree with James and agree with Neil. James talks about other sports and front pages which are all non sequiturs frankly. The Roar has a dedicated cricket page which it fills with all sorts of content from the sublime to the ridiculous so there’s definitely space for articles regarding the Stokes trial. My issue isn’t that the Stokes trial is being covered, although it’s all been very ‘tabloid’. My issue is that an enthralling test series has been completely ignored and the reason for that is purely and simply because England aren’t getting stuffed, to say otherwise would be disingenuous.

              • August 13th 2018 @ 7:05pm
                Nudge said | August 13th 2018 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                We will have to agree to disagree Jimmy.
                The bottom line is that the Australian public would prefer to read about the Stokes trial then a test match between other countries in the middle of our footy season. After all it’s a very serious situation that Stokes finds himself in, and from what I’m reading, I’m guessing jail time is not out of the question.
                And yes i do think some English are sensitive.
                I’m happy to stand corrected but I can’t remember the roar ever publishing an article about a test series or test match between 2 other countries, unless Australia were coming up against one of the teams in the not to distant future.
                And to be honest I’m enjoying watching your mob take down Virat Kohli and his team after last years Oz v India series.
                By the way you can go to the Australian cricket website and get the full run down nearly day by day in regards to the current England v India test series. That should keep you happy mate.

              • August 14th 2018 @ 7:33am
                Neil Back said | August 14th 2018 @ 7:33am | ! Report

                I doubt very much you ever easily stand to be corrected, but Australia is ‘ ..coming up against one of the teams in the not too distant future ..’ as their next home test series is against India in a few months time. Standing?

                And I doubt very much that you have been elected spokesperson on the preferences of all Australian’s reading preferences, let alone cricket fans tuning into the cricket section.

                Look at me being all sensitive.

              • August 14th 2018 @ 9:43am
                Nudge said | August 14th 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

                And as you’ll see Neil, Ronan as done an article today.
                By the way I reckon you’d be the most sensitive person I’ve seen on the roar, and the grumpiest. Just glad I’m not you. 😀

              • August 14th 2018 @ 3:17pm
                Neil Back said | August 14th 2018 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

                At least something we can agree on. I’m glad you’re not me too. Progress of a kind.

    • August 12th 2018 @ 7:37am
      Neil Back said | August 12th 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      Jimmy Anderson. 5-20. Peerless in world cricket as a swing bowler, the best ever, a living legend, unplayable. No added sandpaper.

      Man or magician?


      • August 12th 2018 @ 2:32pm
        JimmyB said | August 12th 2018 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

        Haha Neil, don’t think you’ll get many Aussies falling down on the magician side, they don’t rate him…or rather they like to qualify his success. Indeed they mostly appear to rate Broad much higher despite all the evidence to the contrary.
        You never really know with injuries and fatigue but it certainly seems at the moment that he’s got at least another couple of years in him at the top level. He doesn’t rely on pace (in England anyway) and he’s got a very repeatable/economical action and seems fit, so as long as England manage his workload then he could be a force for a while longer.
        I wouldn’t be surprised to see Broad pack it in/be packed in before Jimmy.
        What England really need to find is an express quick bowler especially for playing in places like Oz.

        • August 12th 2018 @ 8:42pm
          Neil Back said | August 12th 2018 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

          Would find it hard to disagree with any of that Jimmy.

          Think it’s not the finding of pace that’s the problem (there are youngsters out there) it’s providing them with the opportunity to practice their art. They won’t get that in the county set up domestically. Better to unearth them and send them to play b grade cricket on Australian roads, then pick them for overseas Ashes only. Could do something similar with our spinners in the subcontinent. There you go. Sorted.

      • Roar Guru

        August 13th 2018 @ 1:32pm
        Charging Rhino said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

        No mate. Give me Dale Steyn rather…

        • August 13th 2018 @ 1:47pm
          JimmyB said | August 13th 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

          But he’s usually broken though isn’t he?! Dale himself would appear to be a big fan of Jimmy’s given his tweet during India’s second innings.

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2018 @ 2:44pm
            Charging Rhino said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

            Don’t get me wrong big fan of Jimmy Anderson too. No doubting his ability and talent. And as you mentioned I’m sure Dale is too.

            But over their Test history Dale’s numbers speak for themselves. He’s only been injured more recently.
            I don’t know how many years he was ranked no 1 Test bowler but he dominated it for a long time, all while Jimmy was playing too.

          • Roar Guru

            August 13th 2018 @ 2:50pm
            Charging Rhino said | August 13th 2018 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

            Also it’s not just Dale’s numbers. But he performed and struck at just the right times when his team needed him most. Which Anderson does too to be fair. Dale rose to any and every challenge (and won), he’d take out the big guns.
            Smith would rev him up, he’d get those crazy eyes and just shred teams apart.

    • August 13th 2018 @ 8:58am
      Oz_Pat said | August 13th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

      Jimny’s closing in on Glenn Mcgrath’s test wicket record. Although he’s probably not quite a good as Pigeon he’s certainly a more respected cricketer (and doen’t hunt endangered animals)

      Broady will smash Mcgraths test wicket count and in my opinion is a better bowler

    • August 13th 2018 @ 12:07pm
      SP said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

      Poor poms struggling to come to grips with the fact their only half decent cricketer, Basher is nowt but a thug and coward. Gold

      • August 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm
        JimmyB said | August 13th 2018 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

        If you say so champ.

      • August 13th 2018 @ 3:38pm
        Neil Back said | August 13th 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

        Except punchy got replaced by Woakes – who nipped out Kohli and carried his bat for 137. Poor, poor us. Gold.