England, Ben Stokes, New Zealand, Cricket, Deb, Richard Dunn
Stokes issued a statement on Twitter to the story which detail the fatal shooting of his half-brother and sister in 1988. © AFP

England allrounder Ben Stokes has launched a scathing attack at ‘The Sun’ which published a story about his family tragedy on the front page of Tuesday’s edition. Stokes, who has a terrific summer, described the tabloid as “despicable and immoral and heartless”.

The 28-year-old, who inspired England to their first World Cup followed a sensational Ashes 2019 campaign, issued a statement on Twitter to the story which detail the fatal shooting of his half-brother and sister in 1988.

According to the report, Stokes’ half-brother and sister were shot dead by their father, three years before his birth in 1988. The killer Richard Dunn, ex of Ben’s mother Deb, out of jealousy shot Tracey, eight, and Andrew, four, before turning the gun on himself in April 1988, the report stated.

“Today The Sun has seen fit to publish extremely painful, sensitive and personal details concerning events in the private lives of my family, going back more than 31 years. It is hard to find words that adequately describe such low and despicable behaviour, disguised as journalism,” read his statement on Twitter.

“I cannot conceive of anything more immoral, heartless or contemptuous to the feelings and circumstances of my family.”

He revealed that the family had “worked hard to deal with the private trauma inevitably associated with these events and has taken great care to keep private what were deeply personal and traumatic events.”

READ: Ben Stokes’ half-brother and sister were shot dead by their father

Stokes informed that a reporter had been sent to his parents’ home in New Zealand “to question them, out of the blue, on this incredibly upsetting topic.”

“If that wasn’t bad enough, The Sun think it is acceptable to sensationalise our personal tragedy for their front page. To use my name as an excuse to shatter the privacy and private lives of – in particular – my parents, is utterly disgusting.

“I am aware that my public profile brings with it consequences for me that I accept entirely. But I will not allow my public profile to be used as an excuse to invade the rights of my parents, my wife, my children or other family members. They are entitled to a private life of their own.

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“The decision to publish these details has grave and lifelong consequences for my mum in particular. This is the lowest form of journalism, focussed only on chasing sales with absolutely no regard for the devastation caused to lives as a consequence.”

Stokes, who was acquitted of affray last year in connection with the Bristol brawl incident, said the story was “totally out of order and contained “serious inaccuracies which has compounded the damaged caused.”

“We need to take a serious look at how we allow our press to behave. Despite the fact that this has now been made public, I do please ask all concerned to respect my family’s privacy and right to home life.”