Ben Stokes denies he was drunk during alleged assault

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has denied being "really very drunk" and "enraged" when he knocked unconscious two revellers near a Bristol nightclub, a court has heard.

The 27-year-old insists he intervened to stop Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 27, from abusing gay men William O'Connor and Kai Barry.

Denies drunkenness: England cricketer Ben Stokes.

Denies drunkenness: England cricketer Ben Stokes.

And it turned violent when Stokes claimed Ali – who is on trial alongside him at Bristol Crown Court jointly accused of affray – told him to "F*** off or I'll bottle you".

Giving evidence for a second day, Stokes explained he had drunk a bottle of beer immediately after the one-day international win against the West Indies and then had two or three pints back at the hotel over dinner.

He then went into Bristol city centre with his England teammates and had five or six vodka and lemonades and "possibly" some Jaegerbombs.

After failing to be allowed back into the Mbargo nightclub as it was closing, Stokes and his team-mate Alex Hales were heading to a casino when they got into the alleged fracas with the two revellers in the early hours of September 25 last year.

The cricketer explained that he could not remember punching Ali or his friend Mr Hale and said he intervened because they had directed homophobic abuse at the two gay men but was unable to say what those words were.

Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, suggested the reason he was having problems remembering exactly what happened that night was because he was "actually really very drunk", which Stokes denied.

"I don't remember every little detail which has gone on that night," Stokes said.

"He (Ali) was aggressive and violent towards me in what he said but he was definitely verbally aggressive with Mr Barry and Mr O'Connor.

"It's clearly in my statement that I admit to throwing multiple punches. At the time of that situation, I constantly felt under threat from Mr Ali."

Mr Corsellis asked Stokes if he had a "significant memory blackout" from the night in question.

Stokes replied: "You could say that, yes."

Mr Corsellis suggested that Stokes's eyes were "glazed" and his speech was slurred in the footage recorded by Police Constable Stacey Alway's body camera when he was arrested, which the cricketer denied.

Stokes denied being out on a "mission" and said what he wanted that evening was a "good night" with his England teammates.


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