Breaking News – Cricketer ‘mocked gay men before fight’

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Cricketer Ben Stokes ‘mocked gay men before nightclub fight’ England cricketer Ben Stokes mocked two gay men and flicked a cigarette butt at one of them before brawling with two other men, a court has heard.The Durham all-rounder, who will miss the second Test against India at Lord’s, denies affray.Bristol Crown Court heard Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 27, were knocked unconscious by Mr Stokes in Bristol on 25 September 2017.They also deny affray and are on trial alongside Mr Stokes.The fight outside a nightclub was a sustained episode of significant violence in which Mr Stokes lost control, jurors were told. Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, said Mr Stokes, 27, had started to attack Mr Ali and Mr Hale with revenge, retaliation or punishment in mind. Broken eye socketHe said: He knocked Mr Hale unconscious and then – after time to pause for thought, to calm – he did exactly the same to Mr Ali.Mr Corsellis described Mr Stokes’s actions as well beyond acting in self defence or defence of another.An altercation took place in the Clifton Triangle area of the city just after 02:00 BST after the three defendants had left a nightclub, the prosecutor said.The court heard Mr Ali had sustained significant injuries, including a broken eye socket. Mr Corsellis told the jury a bottle was used at the beginning by Mr Ali, and a broken street sign brought into the fray towards the end by Mr Hale.The defendants had been drinking in Mbargo nightclub, with the fight taking place after it closed, jurors heard.Mr Stokes and his teammate Alex Hales left the nightclub at 00:46 but had returned at 02:08.Bouncer Andrew Cunningham explained to the pair the club was closed and they would not be allowed in.However, an obviously upset Mr Stokes became aggressive and insulted Mr Cunningham about his appearance, jurors heard.Mr Cunningham said Mr Stokes’s attention then turned to two openly gay men – Kai Barry and William O’Connor – outside the venue. He claimed the cricketer had mimicked their

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