Cricketer Ben Stokes is a rather good player, and therefore had better stay out of prison if England ever wants to win this Summer’s test series.
Sentiments which seemed to chime with Trial Judge, Mr Justice Auld-Duffer, during his summing up to the jury before they retired to consider their verdict in Stokes’ affray case brought before Bristol Crown Court.
‘Obviously, we don’t ideally want our sportsmen beating up people outside nightclubs, I mean it’s just not cricket really, is it?’ said Auld-Duffer. ‘Though Lord knows some people would try the patience of a saint. I know on many occasions I would quite like to fetch some of these irritating chaps who appear before me a jolly good clip around the ear. Sadly of course that’s not allowed these days, is it? But now when we were at Harrow it was a completely different story, you know. There was this one chap, used to fag for me who…”
After an extended ramble about his schooldays lasting half an hour the Judge finally returned to the subject of Stokes, adding ‘Anyway, my point is this. Did Mr Stokes do it? Well either way we’d best turn a blind eye, hmm? We’ve got some important test matches coming up, and we’ll need all our best men if we’re to avoid another middle order collapse. So go now members of the jury and consider your verdict carefully… oh, by the way, did I ever tell you I once saw Don Bradman score 232 at the Oval?’
After returning a verdict of not guilty one juror denied that Stokes’ sporting ability had anything to do with his verdict, saying ‘Honestly, I had no idea who he was. I don’t really follow sport,’ to which Stokes replied, ‘What, are you gay or something?’