Jury clears England cricketer Ben Stokes over street fight

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A nightclub doorman, who said he was verbally abused by Stokes, said the cricket player also mimicked the mannerisms and voices of two gay men outside the entrance.

Another man charged with affray over the brawl, Ryan Hale, was acquitted midway through the trial after the judge issued a direction to the jury.

"This is not part of me seeking to blame someone else", Mr Cole told the jury in his closing speech for Mr Stokes's defence.

He was dropped during the winter Ashes tour to Australia after he was charged with assault following the brawl in September past year.

He told the pair, "You shouldn't be taking the p*** because they are gay", after which Ali replied, "Shut the f*** up or I'll bottle you".

Mooney, representing Hale, asked Det Con Daniel Adams, the officer in the case: "We have someone lying on the floor, Mr Ryan Ali, and just above him, moving towards him is Mr Alex Hales".

Ali, who is an emergency services worker, had drunk six or seven Jack Daniels and Cokes during his night out with former soldier Hale.

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Mr O'Connor said: "He could see the people doing what they were doing and how homophobic they were and how nasty they came across". He then offered his hand to Ali, who shook it.

The 6ft 2in cricketer added: "I didn't know they could be carrying more weapons on them".

Witnesses described seeing a group of men acting like "football hooligans" and dialled 999.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, saying their Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) would independently investigate the incident, which created a storm and let to a temporary suspension of Stokes and Alex Hales, who was with the all-rounder on a fateful evening in Bristol.

"Having reviewed the evidence, the jury has concluded the actions of the defendants did not amount to affray and we respect this decision".

During the trial, Stokes was alleged to have lied to the jury, mimicked and bullied two men on account of their homosexuality and acted like a football hooligan.

Tony Miles, the solicitor for Mr Ali and Mr Hale, said: "Both our clients are delighted it's all over".

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