England cricketer Ben Stokes denies affray charge

Ben Stokes arriving at courtImage copyright
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Ben Stokes arriving at court in Bristol for a previous hearing

England cricketer Ben Stokes has pleaded not guilty after being accused of fighting outside a Bristol nightclub in September.

The 26-year-old Durham all-rounder is charged with affray after a man allegedly suffered a broken eye socket.

At Bristol Crown Court on Monday, Mr Stokes denied the charges via video link from New Zealand where he is on duty with the England squad.

Mr Stokes, who missed the Ashes, is accused jointly with two others.

Ryan Hale, 26, and 28-year-old Ryan Aslam Ali, both from Bristol, also deny the same charge of affray.

The trial date has been set for 6 August.

The three defendants were detained early on 25 September following a disturbance in the Clifton Triangle area of the city – several hours after England had played a one-day international against the West Indies.

What is affray?

The charge of affray is made under the Public Order Act 1986 and effectively relates to fighting in public.

It is a triable either-way offence, which means it can be heard in either the magistrates’ court or the crown court.

It carries a maximum penalty when tried summarily – in the magistrates’ court – of a fine or up to six months in prison, and when tried on indictment – in the crown court – of up to three years in prison.

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