Stokes 'main aggressor' in Bristol episode, court told

A nightclub bouncer told the court Stokes ridiculed his appearance

A nightclub bouncer told the court Stokes ridiculed his appearance

The jury at the trial of England cricketer Ben Stokes has been told that he was verbally abusive to a Bristol nightclub bouncer and mocked two gay men who were leaving the club.

Ali, 28, and his friend Ryan Hale, 27, are also standing trial accused of affray during the incident.

Spure, who works for Avon and Somerset constabulary as a PCSO (police and community support officer), told the court he "saw a group of people fighting" as he made his way home at the end of a night out.

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.

"I asked him (Stokes), "If you are going to start on someone, start on me", he said.

Cunningham said he did not step in until Stokes flicked a cigarette butt at the men. Stokes denies taunting them, telling police they "thanked me for preventing them from being beaten up".

On the CCTV footage shown to the jury, Stokes and fellow England cricketer Alex Hales are seen catching up with the four and overtaking them and then, the prosecution claimed, Stokes can be seen turning to look back at Barry and Ali.

PC Stacey Alway, who arrested Stokes, told the court: "From the moment I approached him (Stokes) he calmed down and was compliant".

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The cricketer is missing England's upcoming second Test match with India at Lord's due to the trial at Bristol Crown Court.

He claimed Ali replied: "Shut the **** up and **** off or I'll bottle you".

"They were complete strangers". We knew that they were prepared to use weapons that could do serious injury and I feared they could have other weapons with them. He was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary by ambulance and diagnosed as having suffered a fracture to the medial orbital wall on the left side of his face.

Hale sustained a 1.5in laceration to his forehead - consistent with blunt trauma.

"I was anxious it might be two on to one and I knew one had had a bottle", Stokes told police. This was an extreme act of aggression in the circumstances and informed my assessment of the situation.

"I did not known Ryan Hale or Ryan Ali, and I was forced to make a decision as to how far they would be prepared to go and what they might do if they got the upper hand".

"As I was on my own, when I separated two of them more people carried on behind me".

All three defendants deny the charge.

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