Published: Tue, August 14, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

England omit Stokes in unchanged squad for third test

England omit Stokes in unchanged squad for third test

After a week of court proceedings, Ben Stokes has been found not guilty of affray, by the jury, unanimously.

The criminal case led to Stokes missing some of England's biggest matches, including the Ashes tour of Australia and the second Test against India last week.

Mbargo doorman Andrew Cunningham, 37, alleged he was offered £300 by Stokes to let him and Mr Hales back into the nightclub.

Mr Cole pointed out that prosecutors charged Stokes, Mr Hale and Ali with affray and not assault.

He said he was moved to intervene in the situation, telling Ali and Hale to "leave it out - you shouldn't be taking the piss because they're gay".

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He told the court he was defending gay couple Kai Barry and William O'Connor from a potential homophobic attack, but the prosecution claimed that Stokes was "making fun" of their "camp behaviour" and flicked his cigarette butt at them.

He said he had not been drunk but admitted he could not remember what the had been said.

Stokes, who was arrested following an incident in Bristol in the early hours of September 25, had been on trial at Bristol Crown Court since August 6.

Ali denied that Mr O'Connor and Mr Barry were being "a bit of a nuisance" and he and Mr Hale were getting "irate" with them.

"As soon as I see Mr Ali swing the bottle and physically hit them that's when I took the decision to get involved", Stokes said.

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"I would have to perceive a significant threat to do that".

Before violence flared, Stokes had downed at least 10 drinks - jägerbombs, vodka and beers - while celebrating with teammates.

Stokes is accused of knocking Ali to the floor, with fellow cricketer Hales then apparently kicking his head and stamping on him as he lay on the ground.

Ali, an emergency services worker, suffered a fractured eye socket, while Mr Hale, a former soldier, was left with concussion after both were punched by the cricketer in the brawl.

Last week, the jury acquitted Mr Hale of the charge after the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence against him.

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