Ben Stokes’ tone was spiteful, says nightclub doorman

Ben Stokes’ tone was spiteful, says nightclub doorman

The Ben Stokes affray trial at the Bristol Crown Court entered into the second day on Tuesday. This was how things unfolded.

England cricket player Ben Stokes and his wife Clare Ratcliffe leave Bristol Crown Court. (Source: Reuters)

The handshake snub: Danny Adams of the Avon and Somerset Police told the court that Stokes got angry after the nightclub doorman, Andrew Cunningham, refused a handshake with the England all-rounder. He added that the footage captured Stokes mimicking customers and flicking a cigarette butt (allegedly towards Kai Barry and William O’Connor, both gay men), which was “not in the least” friendly.

Doorman gives evidence: To start with, Cunningham didn’t recognise Stokes and Hales, as the Mbargo doorman is not a cricket fan. Things were “good as gold”, when the cricketers came at 11.30am (on September 24, 2017). When they returned in a taxi after 2am, Stokes, according to Cunningham, tried to bribe him, offering £60 to let them in. He, the doorman claimed, increased it to £300 following the refusal. The doorman said, when refused, Stokes called him a “c***”. Cunningham also told prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis that Stokes’s tone was “spiteful”.

Cross-examination: Stokes’s barrister Gordon Cole suggested that the doorman was aggressive to the cricketers, when they returned for the second time and that Stokes and Hales were laughing and joking with the two ‘gay’ men, Barry and O’Connor. “Definitely not. I never became aggressive. They were laughing and joking at them, not with them,” Cunningham replied.

Ignore media: The judge, Peter Blair QC, reiterated to the jury to ignore media reports and social media posts.