Jury finds Ben Stokes not guilty of affray

Sherman Parsons
August 14, 2018

Reacting to the verdict, an Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: "We carried out a thorough independent investigation into the events of 25 September before passing a comprehensive file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service which subsequently made the decision to charge".

Several observers reported that Stokes shook Mr Ali's hand after the verdicts were delivered.

The ECB will shortly convene a Cricket Discipline Commission, which will consider whether Stokes or Alex Hales, who was also present during the incident, should face any sanction.

Stokes said he was acting in self-defence, or in the defence of others, when he punched the two best friends hours after England played the West Indies in a one-day global in the city.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank will set up a Cricket Discipline Commission that will take stock of Stokes' involvement in this physical altercation outside a Bristol pub previous year.

Ali, 28, was found not guilty of affray while Hale was acquitted of the same charge part way through the trial at Bristol Crown Court.

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Stokes, who missed the Lord's Test due to his appearance in court, played a key role in England's victory in the first Test at Edgbaston a fortnight ago, claiming three wickets on a tense final morning to secure a 31-run win.

Stokes still faces European Central Bank disciplinary proceedings but, after the jury came back with their verdicts having deliberated for just three hours, the Durham all-rounder is hoping to make cricket has main focus.

Prosecutors had told the court that after being refused entry to the Mbargo nightclub, Stokes had abused the doorman and then mocked two openly gay men.

Stokes said he could not remember flicking his cigarette butt towards the gay men or directing a V-sign at Mr Cunningham. Another of the accused men, Ryan Hale, was found not guilty during the trial on the direction of the judge. "They just want to get in with their lives".

Stokes has been left out of England's 13-man squad for the third cricket test against India.

"When I realised who he was I thought "fair play", cos obviously he's put his career at risk for someone that he never knew".

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