Ben Stokes charged with affray in Bristol case

Ben Stokes, 26, Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 26, are all due to appear before Bristol Magistrates' Court on a date to be fixed in relation to this charge.

Ben Stokes | CricTracker.com
England batsman Ben Stokes. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes’ troubles just got real as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today released a statement and acknowledged that the cricketers and two others will now appear before the Magistrates’ court. The Avon & Somerset Police had forwarded them the file of evidence and the proceedings are in line with the findings.

Stokes has been under investigation since the incident in September 2017. He was involved in a brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol. The English team was there to play an ODI against West Indies and it happened on the night after the match. He was detained on suspicion of causing bodily harm to two individuals.

Later CCTV footage of the entire scene also appeared and it was clear that Stokes actually hit the two people. The motive for the same was investigated by the police. The cricketer claimed it was to protect a gay couple against homophobes who threatened to harm them.

A CPS spokesperson said:

“The CPS was passed a file of evidence by Avon & Somerset Police on 29 November 2017 in relation to an incident of disorder in Bristol city centre. Further material was subsequently received in late December. Following a review of all the available evidence, the CPS has today (Mon 15 Jan) authorised the police to charge three men with affray in connection with the incident,”

Stokes was earlier included in the English team for the Ashes 2017-18 played in Australia but was eventually suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pertaining to the ongoing investigation. In the interim he took permission to feature in domestic one-day and T20 games in New Zealand.

He was once again named in the squad this time for the ODI series against England that would follow the Ashes but was replaced by Dawid Malan. He had also been permitted by the board to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.

“Ben Stokes, 26, Ryan Ali, 28, and Ryan Hale, 26, are all due to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court on a date to be fixed in relation to this charge.

“The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings are now live and the defendants have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice ongoing proceedings,” the statement mentioned.

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