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

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       Geraint Hughes reflects on day two of Ben Stokes' trial

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

The 27-year-old is accused of later punching Ryan Hale, 27, to the ground, before allegedly knocking out Ryan Ali, 28.

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

Ali is alleged to have threatened Stokes' teammate Alex Hales with a bottle during the incident, while Hale broke off a metal pole from a nearby road sign after being allegedly knocked out by Stokes.

Mr. Stokes, in a written statement given to police after he had been arrested, said he had acted in self-defence when punching Mr. Ali and Mr.

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

"I didn't feel I had an option". I was concerned for myself and others. "As I was on my own, when I separated two of them more people carried on behind me", the statement continued.

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

Two gay men thanked England cricketer Ben Stokes for protecting them from two homophobic revellers, the England cricketer told police. Stokes while making fun of the couple flickered the cigarette but at them, that's when Cunningham stepped in.

Ali also described how, as he lay "in the gutter" having allegedly been punched by Stokes, he made a phone call to the council's CCTV office to ensure they had footage of the incident.

Stokes said he intervened and told Ali and Hale: "Leave it out - you shouldn't be taking the **** because they're gay".

He told police he "did not feel in any way drunk or impaired" and that he had consumed two or three pints at dinner before a further five drinks of vodka with a mixer in the Mbargo nightclub.

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.

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

Mr Hales was never arrested in relation to the incident.

Stokes, of Durham, Ali and Hale, both of Bristol, deny affray.

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