England cricketer Ben Stokes the 'main aggressor' in street brawl - court hears


The jury on Wednesday in the Ben Stokes affray trial at Bristol Crown Court was shown security camera footage of the brawl outside Bristol nightclub Mbargo between the England cricketer and Ryan Ali, Ryan Hale.

Stokes is standing trial at Bristol Crown Court accused of knocking out two other men outside a nightclub in the southwest English city in September previous year.

The prosecution said Stokes told police he intervened with Ali and Hale because he overheard "nasty homophobic language", then told police he acted in self-defence when he thought he was about to be hit with a bottle.

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

As per the previously released CCTV footages, the all-rounder punched Ali and Hale and knocked them down.

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

Stokes, of Durham, Ali and Hale, both of Bristol, deny affray. "Although I can't remember anything specific now, I do recall that the language being used was homophobic in nature and was being directed at Kai and William by Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali".

"In response one of the guys said 'Shut the f*** up and f**** off or I'll bottle you.' At the time he was holding a bottle in his right hand". I said something like 'leave it out - you shouldn't be taking the piss because they're gay'.

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"I didn't feel I had an option".

Off-duty police community support officer Andrew Spure, who had attended a colleague's leaving do at the Mbargo nightclub on the night in question, said in a statement - written hours after the alleged incident - he saw "three to five people involved in some form of scuffle".

Stokes replied: "Because he was abusing my two friends for being gay".

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

"I was anxious it might be two on to one and I knew one had had a bottle just before this", he said. I was concerned for myself and others.

He then described Stokes to be acting "spiteful, angry and like a bully" with no sign of playful banter between the parties.

Ben Stokes pictured outside Bristol Crown Court.