Stokes 'main aggressor' in Bristol episode, court told

PA    
   BEN STOKES CCTV of the England cricketer was shown to the court

PA BEN STOKES CCTV of the England cricketer was shown to the court

England cricketer Ben Stokes has arrived for the third day of his trial for affray at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday.

Stokes stands accused of affray alongside Ryan Hale, 27, and Ali, 28.

Off-duty police community support officer Mark Spure told Bristol Crown Court that Stokes had been the "main aggressor" in the group.

In a statement provided to police and heard in court, Stokes said he only stepped in after hearing two men being homophobic toward two other men.

"He had a conversation with his friend and he said "300 get us in" and I still told them no". Yesterday, the court heard Stokes bullied the gay revellers, throwing a cigarette at one and making mocking gestures at them.

Nicholas Corsellis, prosecuting, told the jury: "Mr Cunningham observed Mr Stokes's behaviour towards them".

Mr Spure described seeing Stokes punch Ali, who was trying to get away, with a "clenched fist" in the road.

"I grappled with the second guy, in the course of that I can recall hitting him a few times".

"So, I felt the need to defend myself. I can only guess I thought I was going to be attacked".

"I chose to intervene and asked Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale to stop abusing Kai and William".

"I walked into the road to try to separate the group and get in between them", he said. When she told him to leave Mr. Stokes, who had been placed in a police van, the court heard that Mr. "As I was on my own, when I separated two of them more people carried on behind me", the statement continued.

On Tuesday it was claimed Alex Hales, who was never charged, kicked Ali three times outside the club, and that Mr Barry and Mr O'Connor had poked fun at Stokes' gold-encrusted trainers.

Cunningham said he did not step in until Stokes flicked a cigarette butt at the men.

Ali suffered a fracture to the medial orbital wall on the left side of his face.

Hale cycled to hospital, where he was found to have bruising and a 1.5in superficial laceration to his forehead consistent with blunt trauma.

Stokes, of Stockton Road, Castle Eden, Durham; Ali, of Forest Road, Bristol; and Hale, of Burghill Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, each deny a joint charge of affray.

Trial judge Judge Peter Blair QC earlier asked 16 potential jurors whether they were "extremely committed" cricket fans following either the England or India teams.

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