International Cricket

Stokes mimicked gay men with ‘camp gestures’, got verbally abusive, nightclub doorman tells court

Doorman Cunningham, appearing as a witness, said Stokes and his England team-mate Alex Hales had tried to get into the club but were refused.

Ben Stokes made “stupid noises” and “camp gestures” to mimic two gay men outside a nightclub, a doorman said Tuesday at the England cricketer’s trial for alleged affray.

Stokes mimicked the “high-pitched” voices of William O’Connor and Kai Barry, two regulars at Mbargo nightclub in Bristol, southwest England, doorman Andrew Cunningham told Bristol Crown Court.

On Monday’s opening day of the trial, jurors saw footage of Stokes, 27, brawling with 27-year-old Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, 28, outside Mbargo in the early hours of September 25 last year.

Stokes – who starred on Saturday as England beat India in the first Test at Edgbaston – Ali and Hale each deny a charge of affray.

The prosecution said Stokes told police he intervened with Ali and Hale because he overheard “nasty homophobic language”, then told police he acted in self-defence when he thought he was about to be hit with a bottle.

He allegedly knocked Hale unconscious first, then Ali.

Doorman Cunningham, appearing as a witness, said Stokes and his England team-mate Alex Hales had tried to get into the club but were refused as it was after 2:00am.

Stokes offered £60 ($78, 67 euros) and then £300 to be let in, said Cunningham – an offer he refused.

Stokes then got “verbally abusive,” mocking Cunningham’s gold teeth and tattoos, in a “spiteful” and “angry tone”, the doorman told the court.

‘Taking the mick’

The doorman said “flamboyant” regulars Barry and O’Connor had left the nightclub and were standing outside talking.

Stokes “started to take the mick out of them”, mimicking their actions and “high-pitched” voices, he told the court.

“They are quite effeminate guys and their voices are different. He made noises to try to copy them, not saying anything just making stupid noises. Just like hand gestures... camp gestures.”

He said Barry and O’Connor did not appear angry.

A cigarette butt was then flicked at them and Cunningham said he stepped in, before Hales turned to his friend and said, “Stokesy, don’t do that”.

‘Laughing, joking’ together’

Stokes’ lawyer Gordon Cole said Barry and O’Connor had been “taking the mickey” out of Stokes’ shoes.

“Mr Stokes, Mr Hales, Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor are outside of the door of Mbargo together – laughing,” Cole said.

“It presents a picture of four people together. It is not homophobic behaviour, is it?

“For about six minutes, all together, laughing, joking, talking and then they walk away.”

Doorman Cunningham suggested the cricketers “were laughing and joking at them, not with them”, adding that Stokes “didn’t seem drunk”.

Police detective constable Daniel Adams was also questioned, agreeing that footage showed Ali and his friend Hale holding bottles.

He alleged that cricketer Hales, who is not on trial, had “definitely used his feet on three occasions” on Ali.

Film student Max Wilson, 21, who watched the scene unfold outside his bedroom window before he began filming it, said the group of six men were “clearly drunk” and sounded like “football hooligans”.

He told the court that he was surprised by the force of a punch thrown and felt sorry for the man who was hit.

The trial, which began Monday, is expected to last between five and seven days.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Innovations in payment options are making premium products more accessible

No need for documentation or applications to own high-quality items

Credit cards have long been associated with an aspirational lifestyle. The ability to buy something out of your wish list without needing to pay the entire amount can tempt even the most disciplined shoppers. A designer couch, the latest mobile phone, a home entertainment system or a car, as long as you can pay back the borrowed amount within the grace period, your credit card purchases know no bounds.

However, credit cards, pre-approved or not, come with a number of complications. The tedious application procedure starts with the collection and submission of various documents. Moreover, there are several reasons your credit card application might get rejected including low income that compromises your repayment capability, certain occupations or work history, mistakes in the application form, possession of multiple cards or even a failed physical verification attempt. While applying for a credit card might have become easier, the success of the application can take time and effort.

Credit card owners are regaled with benefits all year round with attractive EMIs, offers on purchases, airline miles, lounge access, cashbacks and a plethora of exclusive deals. It’s worth noting that debit card owners don’t get even half of these benefits and offers, despite the sheer size of the debit card customer base in the country (846.7 million compared to 36.2 million credit card holders).

This imbalance of finance and purchase options between credit card and debit card owners is slowly changing. For instance, the new EMIs on debit card feature on Flipkart ensures affordability and accessibility to Indian consumers who don’t own credit cards. The payment innovation increases the purchasing power of the consumer. By providing credit access to non-credit card holders, expensive and high-quality products are made more affordable for a large base of customers without denting their cash flow. The video below comically captures a scenario that people who don’t own a credit card will relate to.

Play

Flipkart’s EMIs on debit card feature doesn’t require a minimum account balance, documentation, nor does it charge a processing fee, making online shopping a seamless experience even for more high-end products. To find out if you’re eligible for EMIs on debit card, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Flipkart and not by the Scroll editorial team.