England star Ben Stokes consumed six vodka and lemonades and three lagers before knocking two people out in a street brawl, a court heard today.
Stokes has been accused as the main aggressor in the case where he knocked two men unconscious during a fight near a nightclub in September last year. Former soldier Ryan Hale, 27, and his friend Ryan Ali, 28, were attacked by the 27-year old.
The incident had taken place near the Mbargo nightclub in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol shortly after 2am on September 25 hours after England had played the West Indies in a one-day international in the city.
He is standing trial jointly accused of affray alongside Ali – both men deny the accusation. There were initially three co-defendants but, earlier on Thursday, Hale was found not guilty of the same charge by the jury on the direction of the judge.
Stokes has now told jurors he wasn’t drunk after he went out to celebrate England’s win. He said after the match he would have had a beer at the ground before driving back to the team hotel for a meal. He further said he would have drunk two or three pints of lager in the team hotel.
Afterwards he went into the city centre with teammates Alex Hales, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Liam Plunkett and Jonny Bairstow and went straight to Mbargo.
Gordon Cole QC, representing Stokes, asked him:
“Were you drunk?”
In reply, Stokes said: “No.”
He then said he had five or six vodka and lemonades. After a while they all left, except Plunkett and Bairstow who remained inside, and went to the Pryzm nightclub instead.
Stokes said that Pryzm was quiet, so they caught a taxi back to Mbargo.
“We really enjoyed ourselves in there before and thought it was the best place to go back to,” he said.
He told the jury that he did not know whether Bairstow and Plunkett would still be inside.