Ben Stokes accused of lying to the jury and having an anger problem

Ben Stokes outside court AFP

Ben Stokes has been accused of lying to a jury, having an anger management problem and failing to take responsibility for his actions on the fifth day of his trial in Bristol.

Stokes, who is standing trial for affray alongside Ryan Ali, was also accused of exaggerating the extent of an argument he witnessed "in an attempt to justify your own violent behaviour".

Under cross-examination from Anna Midgley QC, acting for Ali, it was put to Stokes that he had "misrepresented" events in the early hours of September 25 and "just got the wrong end of the stick" after coming across four men in the street.

In particular, Midgley suggested, Stokes had misunderstood the nature of the discussion between Ryan Ali, his friend Ryan Hale and two men, Kai Barry and William O'Connor.

"You thought something untoward was being said to them about their sexuality, but you can't remember a single word, can you?" she asked. "Won't you consider that you have just got the wrong end of the stick?"

"I can't recollect the direct words," Stokes replied, "but I'm very clear the words used were of homophobic abuse."

"You have over-exaggerated the exchange in an attempt to justify your own violent behaviour haven't you?" Midgley asked. "You've misrepresented what happened, haven't you?"

"No," Stokes replied.

Under cross-examination from Nicholas Corsellis QC, acting for the prosecution, it was put to Stokes that he had "really significant memory blackout" from the night because he was "really very drunk".

It was also put to Stokes that CCTV footage showed him flicking a cigarette butt at Mr O'Connor and that Stokes walked away from the Mbargo nightclub "angry" after a disagreement with the bouncer, Andrew Cunningham, who would not allow him to re-enter.

"Are you hiding behind your lack of recollection because you carried out a retaliatory attack?" Corsellis asked.

"No, all my actions were in self-defence," Stokes replied.

"You're lying to the jury about the cigarette butt, aren't you?" Corsellis continued. "You're lying about mimicking and mocking Mr Barry and Mr O'Connor.

"I'm not sure it [the butt] was still in my hand," Stokes replied. "I hadn't seen the footage... it looks like I've done something towards the area."

"You have a problem with your anger, don't you?" Corsellis asked.

"No," Stokes replied.

"You're trying to cover up your actions because you know you were angry with Mr Cunningham, aren't you?" Corsellis asked. "The CCTV shows you being angry, doesn't it?"

"No," Stokes replied.

Asked whether he was "looking down your nose" at Mr Cunningham, Stokes replied he "might just be looking at the night sky". And when asked to whom he might be speaking, Stokes replied "God".

After more than two hours of cross-examination, an exhausted-looking Stokes returned to the dock, lent back in his chair, exhaled deeply and then held his head in hands.

The court then heard a written statement from Nottinghamshire and England's Jake Ball - and read by Stokes' QC, Gordon Cole - which described Stokes as in "a good mood". Ball had been out with Stokes that evening in September, but returned to the team hotel before the incident began.

"He was in a good mood and really pleased to score runs and win the game," Ball's statement read. "It was business as usual. It wasn't a wild night out.

"Ben was relaxed. I would not say Ben was drunk."

The trial continues.