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Ben Stokes identified as "main aggressor" in Bristol fight

09 August 2018

Stokes, the England cricketer who is standing trial for affray alongside Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, was also described as feeling "vulnerable and frightened" as the incident unfolded and claimed that, having seen at least one bottle used in the brawl, feared his opponents had "demonstrated a willingness to use weapons in attacking people".

Stokes is facing a charge of affray over a violent incident, which took place in the early hours of September 25 outside a club in Bristol.

"I decided at this point matters had become too serious to ignore and that I had to intervene to stop Ryan Ali".

Stokes is standing trial at Bristol Crown Court accused of knocking out two men outside a nightclub in the southwest English city on September 25 past year. "He had a green t-shirt on".

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

Mr Spure said Ali "seemed to be trying to back away or get away from the situation" before he was punched by Stokes.

The jury was also shown CCTV footage that, it was alleged by the prosecution, shows Hale running back towards the main group with a length of metal.

"I felt the need to defend myself".

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

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".

"I believe I felt threatened", he said.

Stokes is also accused of earlier mocking the gay men, Kai Barry and William O'Connor, and flicking a cigarette butt at them.

"I was anxious it might be two on to one and I knew one had had a bottle just before this", he said. I felt I was going to be attacked.

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

In a statement, Mr Spure said he had tried to separate Mr Stokes and Mr Ali, with the others continuing their behaviour behind him.

The jury heard Mr Ali had suffered a fractured left eye socket, a cracked tooth and cuts and bruises, while Mr Hale suffered bruising and a cut to his forehead.

Ryan Hale (L) arrives at Bristol Crown Court on August 6, 2018 in Bristol, England.

Ben Stokes identified as