Ben Stokes identified as "main aggressor" in Bristol fight

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

Mr Stokes first hit Mr Hale, knocking him to the ground, before rendering Mr Ali unconscious in the punch seen by the PCSO, jurors have been told.

The 27-year-old England allrounder is accused of affray during the early hours of September 25 last year.

Ali, 28, and his friend Ryan Hale, 27, are also standing trial accused of affray during the incident. Stokes said "matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene". Mr. Spure then said he identified Mr. Stokes to police who then arrested him, the court heard. "I walked into the road to try to separate the group and get in between them".

"As I was on my own, when I separated two of them more people carried on behind me". I told them I would not have a job to go back to in the morning.

Stokes, who was smoking on the evening, allegedly flicked his cigarette butt at O'Connor's head.

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

CCTV footage shows Ali and Hale leaving the nightclub at 2.23am before leaving with Barry and O'Connor, while Stokes and Hales remained.

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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Hale, after seeing them verbally abuse two gay men, Kai Barry and William O'Connor.

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

The doorman said Hales asked what had happened and, after being told, said to his team-mate: "Stokesy - don't do that".

Stokes told officers: "The force I used in defending us was reasonable and entirely justified when the circumstances are viewed objectively".

Bristol Crown Court heard he was "squaring up" to other men before he was cuffed.

Ali suffered significant injuries, including a fractured eye socket, and required hospital treatment.

Hale sustained a 1.5in laceration to his forehead - consistent with blunt trauma. Mr Hales told the officers that he had not witnessed any of the alleged fight. 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.

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