Avon and Somerset Police have reissued their appeal for two witnesses to come forward in the wake of the incident in Bristol last month that led to Ben Stokes‘ arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
Stokes, 26, was last week withdrawn from England’s Ashes squad pending further police investigation into the events that took place outside Mbargo nightclub in the Clifton area of Bristol in the early hours of September 25.
Video footage, released by The Sun, purported to show Stokes throwing punches at two men, one of whom appeared to be armed with a bottle. The kit supplier New Balance has since withdrawn its sponsorship of the player, which was believed to be worth approximately 200,000 per year.
Stokes’ England team-mate, Alex Hales, who was present at the time of the incident, has also been made unavailable for selection by the ECB, although his lawyer last week said he would be “surprised” if he faced further action.
Stokes last week issued a statement, through his agent Neil Fairbrother, in which he promised to give a full explanation of his actions “when the time is right”.
It is understood Stokes has claimed, both to the police and to the ECB in their internal investigation, that he was coming to the aid of two men who had been subjected to homophobic abuse prior to the incident.
And now, following a previous appeal on September 28 for two key witnesses to come forward, Somerset and Avon Police have reiterated their appeal in a follow-up post on their Twitter feed.
The two men in question were seen leaving the nightclub at 2.19am, according to the police statement, and were walking in the direction of Queens Road with two other men.
“One of the men is described as white, of slim build, 5ft 9in tall and aged in his early 20s. He had short dark brown hair, was clean shaven and wore a white T-shirt with a sleeveless jumper, jeans and trainers,” the statement continued.
“The second man is also white, 5ft 9in tall and aged in his early 20s but is of a slightly larger build. He had short light brown hair, was also clean shaven and wore a long-sleeved round neck T-shirt, dark/black skinny jeans and trainers.”