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‘Punch victim’ of cricketer Ben Stokes is a soldier

The man allegedly punched to the ground by England cricket star Ben Stokes is an Afghanistan veteran.

He is 26-year Ryan Hale who is from Bristol and who served as a squaddie in the Army on an Afghan tour in 2013.

His mother Angela told Mail Online last night that her son was’ not aggressive at all’ and added that the incident ‘had not been ok.’

Ben Stokes

26-year Ryan Hale (left) is from Bristol and who served as a squaddie in the Army on an Afghan tour in 2013. Ben Stokes is pictured right

His mother Angela told Mail Online last night that her son was¿ not aggressive at all¿ and added that the incident where Stokes allegedly punched him to the ground ¿had not been ok'

His mother Angela told Mail Online last night that her son was’ not aggressive at all’ and added that the incident where Stokes allegedly punched him to the ground ‘had not been ok’

She said: ‘It is not OK and it is not something that happens on a daily basis. It is not something you expect to happen.

‘But I don’t want to comment on it as I think it is up to the police to do their job and carry out their investigation.

‘I don’t want to say anything to discredit anyone. But you have clearly seen the video footage. I just know there was a fracas and I have seen the video.’

Stokes has been suspended from international duty following his arrest after the violent incident in the centre of Bristol around 2.30am last Monday.

A video recording of the confrontation led to Stokes, the Durham all-rounder, being questioned over an alleged assault causing actual bodily harm.

But he is believed to have strenuously denied an assault. 

A video recording of the confrontation led to Stokes, the Durham all-rounder, being questioned over an alleged assault causing actual bodily harm

He is pictured with fiancee Clare Ratcliffe

Stokes is pictured left and right with Claire Ratcliffe, his fiancee. A video recording of the confrontation led to Stokes, the Durham all-rounder, being questioned over an alleged assault causing actual bodily harm

A barman said the group of men who clashed with Stokes were involved in an earlier confrontation.

He said he saw a group of men who verbally abused him and his friends in the same area, about an hour before Stokes got involved in a violent punch up.

Amantas, 20, who works at Steinbeck & Shaw, said, he believed these may have been the same group of men seen in images recorded on a cell phone by an acquaintance of a friend of his.

The Lithuanian said: ‘I was walking down Park Street close to The Triangle [which is near the taxi rank where Stokes was arrested] when this group of lads approached us.

The star and teammate Alex Hales, pictured, have been suspended by England and will not be considered for selection 'until further notice' 

The star and teammate Alex Hales, pictured, have been suspended by England and will not be considered for selection ‘until further notice’ 

‘They were really hyped up and they were trouble makers. They were judging our outfits and saying ‘Oi Oi’. I can’t remember what exact insults were used.

‘There we’re maybe five or six of them and they looked in their twenties. They were trying to take the piss out of the way that I looked. They were looking for a fight. But I wasn’t and I had been drinking too.’

Police today confirmed they would be speaking to everyone involved in the fracas again in the coming days before a decision is taken on whether to charge Stokes.

A friend of Stokes, thought to be one-day star Hales, is heard repeatedly urging him to calm down but Stokes shoves him away so he can continue to throw punches. 

Mr Hale was reported to have been out with his friend Ryan Ali, who is 27.

Stokes was out in Manchester city centre last week after a one day match vs the Windies

Stokes was out in Manchester city centre last week after a one day match vs the Windies

Stokes had been with a group of England cricketers including batsmen Alex Hales who has also been questioned by police. They are thought to have partied separately in the Embargo night club.

Both sportsmen have been released without charge while investigations continue.

Hale refused to comment at the house where he lives with his mother at Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol.

Ryan Hale left the Army in 2013 after a tour of Afghanistan with The Rifles and lives with his mother in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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