Ben Stokes 'was main aggressor in nightclub fight'

A nightclub bouncer told the court Stokes ridiculed his appearance

When she told him to leave Mr. Stokes, who had been placed in a police van, the court heard that Mr.

Stokes and several other England players had gone to Mbargo to celebrate a one-day global win over the West Indies last September.

He said the pair "scuffled" and ended up on the floor, before Hale came at him from behind - grabbing and pulling him.

"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".

Mr O'Connor and Mr Barry walked off with two club-goers, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale.

"I felt the need to defend myself".

"I walked into the road to try to separate the group and get in between them", he said.

Earlier in the day, the jury were shown body-camera footage from the police officer (PC Stacey Allway) who arrested Stokes and heard from an off-duty police and community support officer who suggested Stokes was "the main aggressor" during the part of the fight he witnessed. "As I was on my own, when I separated two of them more people carried on behind me", the statement continued.

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"I decided at this point matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene to stop Ryan Ali". Ali, Spure said, was "trying to back away or move away from the situation" before the punch was thrown. Yesterday, the court heard Stokes bullied the gay revellers, throwing a cigarette at one and making mocking gestures at them.

Bristol Crown Court heard Stokes was the "main aggressor" in a fight that broke out between him and two other men - Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale - near a nightclub in the city.

He even flicked an unlit cigarette butt at Mr O'Connor's head in a bid to "provoke them", it was alleged.

"Both Kai and William thanked me for preventing them from being beaten up". And Stokes replied: "Because he was abusing my two friends for being gay".

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.

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.

She told the court the cricketer had been "squaring up" to a group of men at the side of the road as she approached them.

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