Not Guilty, Pleads Ben Stokes To Affray Charge Over Nightclub Brawl

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| February 13 , 2018 , 18:55 IST

English all-rounder Ben Stokes has pleaded not guilty to the charge of affray at Bristol Magistrates Court on Tuesday. The cricketer's involvement in an altercation outside a nightclub cost him his place on the Ashes tour.

However, the 26-year-old player refuses the accusations of getting into a brawl few hours after playing a one-day international against the West Indies on September 25 which led to a 27-year-old man suffering from a fractured eye socket.

Following the altercation, Stokes was suspended from the team for Australia trip. To present his stance, the cricketer reached the south-western city of Bristol along with Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale and the three refused of indulgence in any unlawful violence.

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The incident took place in the presence of England cricketer Alex Hales, who didn't face any charges whereas Stokes along with Ali and Hale were accused of threatening unlawful violence towards the victim, which the defendants refused of.

While reading out the charges after confirming the defendants' names, dates of births, addresses and nationalities, the clerk stated, "conduct was such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety".

The three will now be tried by a jury at a crown court. District Judge Simon Cooper granted them bail while announcing, "I have decided that your trial will take place at the crown court at Bristol. The first hearing date will be March 12."