Ben Stokes declared he “stepped in” to defend two gay men before an alleged brawl, the Bristol Crown Court heard on Thursday (August 9).
“I stepped in and said ‘you shouldn’t be saying these things to these two men’.”
Stokes has been accused by the prosecution of mimicking the mannerisms of the two gay men in what was called a “derogatory way”. When asked by Gordon Cole QC whether he was being homophobic, Stokes replied: “Definitely not. The only comments between myself and this gay couple was about what we was wearing that night.”
Earlier in the day, Hale was acquitted by the judge based on evidence that he did not use a metal street sign he picked up during the alleged fight. Judge Peter Blair QC told the jury: “I am directing you to find him not guilty in my analysis of the evidence.”
Hale told police in an interview, which was read out in court, that he believed Stokes could have killed him. “I’m a Dad,” he said. “He could have killed me. I don’t know why he didn’t stop.”