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

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   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

Ben Stokes was "the main aggressor" in an alleged fight with two men outside a nightclub, both of whom brandished bottles, Bristol Crown Court heard on Wednesday (August 8).

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 a year ago.

Spure, who works for Avon and Somerset constabulary as a PCSO (police and community support officer), told the court he "saw a group of people fighting" as he made his way home at the end of a night out.

The two gay men Stokes claimed he was defending, Kai Barry and William O'Connor, "thanked me for preventing them from being beaten up", the cricketer told police.

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

The CCTV footage shows Mr Hales behind Mr Stokes and the cricketer approaching a retreating Mr Ali, jurors were told.

Footage from a body camera worn by PC Stacey Alway, who arrested Mr Stokes, was shown to the jury. In it, Ali denied saying anything offensive to either Barry or O'Connor, but accepted that "one of the guys" became "quite irate" after "banter" between the men.

He added: "It was homophobic in nature". I said something like 'leave it out - you shouldn't be taking the piss because they're gay'. "One of them said something like "shut the f**k up or I'll bottle you".

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.

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

"I grappled with the second guy, in the course of that I can recall hitting him a few times. As I was on my own, when I separated two of them more people carried on behind me", the statement continued.

Stokes then tried to shake hands with Cunningham, but this was refused, which Corsellis said "seemed to enrage Mr Stokes".

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

The cricketer is missing England's upcoming second Test match with India at Lord's due to the trial at Bristol Crown Court.