Bristol couple defend Ben Stokes' actions | West Country

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The Durham all-rounder is accused of fighting along with two other men on September 25.

Whilst Stokes - whose travails are not over as he faces a disciplinary hearing by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) - stayed inside a smiling Ali restricted himself to telling the BBC he was "relieved it was all over". CCTV footage appeared to show him escorting them away from the violence. England did not miss Stokes much as his replacement Chris Woakes starred with both bat and ball.

"The past 11 months have served to highlight to Ben just how highly he values his position as an England representative. Now that the trial is over, Ben is keen to getting back to cricket being his sole focus".

A gay couple have defended England cricketer Ben Stokes after he was found not guilty over a fight.

All-rounder Ben Stokes, who was deemed not guilty of affray charges by a Bristol court on Tuesday, has subsequently been added to the England squad for the third Test starting on Saturday in Nottingham.

Stokes said he would have had a bottle of beer after the match, two or three pints at the hotel, five or six vodka and lemonades and then "potentially had some Jagerbombs" in Mbargo.

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".

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New Zealand-born Stokes said in his testimony last Friday he had a "significant memory blackout" but he was "absolutely not" an angry man who had lost all control. Mr Hale was found not guilty last week of affray by the jury on direction of the judge.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "The evidence of Mr O'Connor and Mr Barry was disclosed to the defence but it was not deemed necessary to call them as witnesses in the case".

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".

I hope over the course of time he realises what he did was wrong.

Jurors have been told Mr Hales was interviewed under caution but was not arrested or charged in connection with the incident.

But that could also depend on whether ECB's Cricket Disciplinary Commission decide to award cricket-related punishments to Stokes, and Alex Hales who was also involved in the incident previous year.

Although the trial ends 24 hours before the team is announced for the third Test at Trent Bridge, Stokes is most likely to miss the game as "there is a fear he may be too exhausted to play at Trent Bridge", according to a report in The Telegraph.

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