Ben Stokes trial: England star claims he was ‘talking to God’ in CCTV

The all-rounder is being cross-examined by prosecutors at Bristol Crown Court on the fifth day of his trial over affray allegations, which he denies.

The 27-year-old England star is accused of punching two friends, Ryan Hale, 27, and Ryan Ali, 28, outside the Mbargo club on September 25 last year.

The Durham county cricketer is on trial alongside Mr Ali, who Mr Stokes is alleged to have knocked out during the brawl near the nightclub.

Mr Hale was acquitted of affray on Thursday.

Grilling Mr Stokes for a second day, prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis today played CCTV footage of him outside the club prior to the fracas.


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IN THE DOCK: Ben Stokes has denied allegations of affray outside a Bristol nightclub

Mr Corsellis told the court Mr Stokes appeared to be angry in the video, suggesting he was shouting and pointing at nightclub bouncer Andrew Cunningham.

Giving evidence earlier this week, Mr Cunningham told the court Stokes became “spiteful and angry” when he refused to let him in the club.

Mr Cunningham, who accused Stokes of mocking two gay men outside the club, refused to shake his hand before he left.

When Mr Corsellis suggested the all-rounder looked angry in the CCTV footage, Mr Stokes replied: “I don’t think you can tell if I’m angry.”


“I might just be looking at the night sky”


Ben Stokes

When the prosecutor asked what Mr Stokes was looking at, he said: “I might just be looking at the night sky.”

Mr Corsellis said: “Who were you speaking to when you were looking at the night sky?”

Mr Stokes replied: “God?”

Mr Corsellis asked: “Mr Stokes, you are just in front of the jury, trying to cover up your actions.

“You know you were angry and this CCTV was you looking angry, isn’t it?”

Mr Stokes answered: “No.”


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ALLEGATIONS: Stokes is accused of punching two friends, Ryan Hale, 27, and Ryan Ali, 28

Earlier, Mr Stokes admitted throwing several punches at a man outside the club.

He told the court he intervened in a fight because Mr Ali and Mr Hale had directed homophobic abuse at gay men William O’Connor and Kai Barry.

He claimed he felt “constantly under threat” from Mr Ali and Mr Hale, the court heard.

Mr Stokes was asked about what Mr Ali was doing in the moments before he knocked him out and he said he could not remember.


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CO-ACCUSED: Ryan Ali arrives at Bristol Crown Court in Bristol

Mr Corsellis asked: “Is it because you are hiding behind your lack of recollection because you know full well you carried out a retaliatory attack upon those two men, first Mr Hale and then Mr Ali?”

Mr Stokes replied: “No, all my actions were in self-defence and fearing for my safety.”

Mr Corsellis accused Mr Stokes of “lying to the jury” about what they say is CCTV footage of him throwing a cigarette towards a gay couple.

He was also accused of “not telling the truth to this jury” about the “mimicking and mocking” he claims Mr Hale and Ali directed at the couple.

Mr Stokes says he is “very clear” the words used “were homophobic.”

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