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Ben Stokes mocked two gay men and flicked a cigarette at them, court told

By Rod Minchin

England cricketer Ben Stokes was abusive to a doorman before mocking two gay men leaving a nightclub and flicking a cigarette butt at them, a court has heard.

The 27-year-old all-rounder is accused of affray in the Clifton triangle area of Bristol early on September 25 last year.

He is said to have attempted to bribe a doorman with £300 to gain entry into nightclub Mbargo with team-mate Alex Hales.

Bristol Crown Court heard Stokes punched friends Ryan Ali, (28), and Ryan Hale (27), unconscious after "charging" at them from across the road.

Mr Hales, who was interviewed under caution but never arrested in relation to the incident, allegedly stamped on and kicked Hale in the head.

Ali and Hale are also standing trial accused of affray.

Doorman Andrew Cunningham (37) said licensing laws meant he couldn't allow the cricketers in as it was past 2am.

Mr Cunningham, who has four gold front teeth and tattoos said: "The ginger one offered me £60 and asked me if that would get them in. He had a conversation with his friend and he said '£300 get us in' and I still told them no. I told them I would not have a job to go back to in the morning.

"He (Stokes) mentioned my gold teeth and he said I looked like a c***. I replied, 'Thank you very much'. He mentioned my tattoos and how s*** they were."

Two gay men, William O'Connor and Kai Barry, then emerged and began talking to each other in a "flamboyant" manner.

"The ginger guy picked up on this and started to take the mick out of them," Mr Cunningham told the jury. "He didn't speak, he just made noises to sound like them. If you hear them they are quite high-pitched guys."

He told the jury of six men and six women that he intervened when he saw Stokes flick a cigarette butt at Mr O'Connor and Mr Barry.

CCTV images show Stokes and Mr Hales catching up with Ali, Hale, Mr Barry and Mr O'Connor on a nearby street.

Stokes claims he was defending Mr Barry and Mr O'Connor after hearing Ali and Hale abuse them in a homophobic manner.

Stokes is accused of punching Ali to the ground, with Mr Hales then kicking him on the head as he lay prostrate.

Stokes, of Castle Eden, Durham and Ali and Hale, both of Bristol, each deny a joint charge of affray.

The trial continues.

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