England all-rounder Ben Stokes was back in court today as prosecution and defence cross-examined witnesses.
Prosecutor Mr Nicholas Corsellis called Avon & Somerset Police Detective Constable Daniel Adams to the stand and showed the court room CCTV footage of Ben Stokes in conversation with nightclub doorman Andrew Cunningham.
Asked what he viewed by Corsellis, Adams said: “It seems like Ben Stokes making a V-sign towards Mr Cunningham. He was still engaging in conversation with Mr Cunningham.”
Footage taken from Mbargo nightclub covering the street outside also showed two clubbers, gay men William O’Connor and Kai Barry, walking away from the nightclub while talking to Stokes and England teammate Alex Hales.
Asked by Corsellis to explain what he could see from the CCTV, Adams said: “Mr Stokes appears to mimic the actions of William O’Connor.
“Stokes has just flicked something which we believe was a cigarette butt at William O’Connor.”
“Alex Hales is looking away at this point. Alex Hales appears fed up with something at that point.”
The trial relates to an incident which has seen a charge of affray brought against Stokes, 27, and two other individuals, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale. All three deny the charge.
Prosecution alleges Stokes knocked Ali and Hale unconscious after he had been turned away from Mbargo, launched a verbal tirade at Mr Cunningham, and flicked a cigarette at a gay man.
Yesterday, the jury heard how Stokes and Hales had been at Mbargo earlier in the night and returned later after 2.00am when the club had shut.
Before lunch was taken, Corsellis asked Cunningham to explain what Stokes said to him after he was refused re-entry. He claimed Stokes called him a ‘c***’ and told him his ‘tattoos were shit’.
Stokes’ barrister Mr Gordon Cole QC then questioned Cunningham after lunch about his own conduct towards Stokes and Hales when they returned.
“You were aggressive towards Mr Stokes and Mr Hales that night, Mr Cunningham?” Cole asked, which Cunningham denied.
Cole said: “When Mr Stokes and Mr Hales returned to the club you were immediately aggressive towards them. You were rude in the way you spoke to them. They then stood outside for quite some time laughing and joking. They were laughing and joking and they were laughing and joking with Mr O’Connor and Mr Barry.”
Cunningham replied: “Definitely not. I never became aggressive. They were laughing and joking at them, not with them.”
Additional video footage was shown to the jury later in the day by witness Max Wilson, a student who filmed the brawl from his window, who described a group of six man seen as being ‘clearly drunk’.
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