Stokes admits to 'throwing several punches'


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Ben Stokes has pleaded not guilty to affray and is on trial at Bristol Crown Court

England cricketer Ben Stokes admitted throwing several punches at a man outside a nightclub in Bristol, a jury has heard.

The Durham all-rounder, who denies affray, has taken to the stand for a second day at Bristol Crown Court.

Mr Stokes, 27, said: “It’s clear in my statements that I admit to throwing multiple punches.”

He is on trial alongside Ryan Ali, 28, who the cricketer is alleged to have knocked out, outside the Mbargo club.

He told the court he felt “constantly under threat” by two men who he claims made homophobic slurs to another two men.

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Ben Stokes was arrested on the night of the fight in Bristol

When questioned by the prosecution, he denied knocking out Mr Ali or being very drunk.

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

Mr Stokes agreed that he had at least 10 drinks, including pints of beer, vodka and lemonade as well as “a few” Jagerbombs, which are shots mixed with beer or energy drinks.

‘Not threatening’

Under cross-examination by Mr Ali’s defence counsel, he was questioned whether he had misheard what was being said.

But, he maintained Mr Ali and Mr Hale made homophobic comments outside the club in the Clifton triangle area of Bristol during the early hours of 25 September last year.

Mr Stokes told the jury he was not “threatening or aggressive” towards the men.

“I’d say I was verbally saying ‘I don’t think you should be saying that to these two guys because they’re gay’,” he said.

The trial continues.

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