Ben Stokes trial: Cricketer ‘lied about self-defence’

England cricketer Ben Stokes lied when he said he acted in self-defence during a fight outside a Bristol nightclub, a court has heard.

The Durham all-rounder, 27, who denies affray, is on trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Giving his closing speech, prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis said Mr. Stokes “quickly turned aggressor”.

The cricketer is on trial alongside Ryan Ali, 28, whom he is alleged to have knocked out outside Mbargo.

Mr. Ali has also denied affray while Ryan Hale, 27, was acquitted of the same charge last Thursday.

Mr. Corsellis told the jury Mr. Stokes acted “to defend himself or in defence of another” when Mr. Ali had a bottle in his hand, but then “quickly turned aggressor”.

“Even if Mr. Stokes has begun using self-defence, he very, very quickly after this became the aggressor, with Mr. Hale trying to pacify him together with Mr. Ali,” Mr. Corsellis said.

“He was pursuing them into the road, repeatedly punching at them at least six times, with his teammate Alex Hales calling him away ‘Stokes… Stokes… stop… stop…’.

“Mr. Stokes began in self-defence but moves out of that to become the aggressor.

“If Mr. Stokes was being tried alone, we submit that his behaviour would constitute an affray.

“It is plain Mr. Stokes is lying.”

Last week, giving evidence, the cricketer said he “stepped in” to defend two gay men before the fight on 25 September last year.

Mr. Stokes, of Castle Eden, Durham, was arrested in the early hours along with Mr. Ali, of Bristol, and Mr. Hale, of Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol.

The fight took place several hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies at the city’s County Ground.

The trial continues. (BBC Sport)

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