CCTV footage shows Ben Stokes flicking cigarette butt at gay man’s head
CCTV footage has been released allegedly showing England cricketer Ben Stokes flicking a cigarette butt at two gay men.
Stokes is facing a charge of affray over a violent incident, which took place in the early hours of September 25 outside a club in Bristol.
The player allegedly made “fun” of two men for their “camp behaviour” and impersonated their hand movements, before flicking the butt of his cigarette at them, the jury heard.
The 27-year-old is accused of later punching Ryan Hale, 27, to the ground, before allegedly knocking out Ryan Ali, 28. Hale allegedly suffered a fractured eye socket in the incident.
Bristol Crown Court has heard that Stokes allegedly mocked the two gay men, Kai Barry and William O’Connor, as he argued with doorman Andrew Cunningham over re-entry into the club.
Cunningham told the court that when Stokes flicked a cigarette butt at the two men, “I asked him, ‘If you are going to start on someone, start on me’.”
Detective Constable Adams told the court of the CCTV: “Mr Stokes appears to mimic the actions of William O’Connor.
“Stokes [flicked] something which we believe was a cigarette butt at William O’Connor.
“Ben Stokes was mimicking William O’Connor as his back was turned and Mr Stokes flicks something at him.”
Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, told the jury: “Mr Cunningham observed Mr Stokes’s behaviour towards them.
“He noted that he was mimicking their voices and mannerisms in what he described as ‘a derogatory way,’ thereby making fun of their camp behaviour.
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“The CCTV footage, which does not have audio, suggests that sort of behaviour did take place, with Mr Stokes copying hand gestures made by the men.”
Corsellis added: “Past success, fame or good deeds does not absolve you from your duty – and the law – to behave yourself.
“This was not a trivial moment of unpleasantness. It was a sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked at what was taking place.
“A bottle was used at the beginning and a broken street sign brought into the fray towards the end.”