Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Ben Stokes mocked two gay men, bouncer tells trial

England cricketer Ben Stokes walks into Bristol Crown Court. Stokes has been jointly charged with affray outside GETTY IMAGES England cricketer Ben Stokes walks into Bristol Crown Court. Stokes has been jointly charged with affray outside a Bristol nightclub
Cary Erickson | 09 August, 2018, 01:57

A former soldier was filmed running towards Ben Stokes carrying a metal bar moments after being knocked out by the England cricketer during a violent brawl, a court was told today.

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. 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 had a conversation with his friend and he said "300 get us in" and I still told them no".

Mr Spure described seeing Stokes punch Ali, who was trying to get away, with a "clenched fist" in the road. "He had a green t-shirt on".

Stokes "started to take the mick out of them", mimicking their actions and "high-pitched" voices, he told the court.

In questioning, Spure told the court Stokes "seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to another individual".

Ryan Hale was left lying in the middle of a busy road after receiving a right-hand punch by Mr Stokes after a dispute outside a nightclub, Bristol crown court was told.

"At this point, I felt vulnerable and frightened".

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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 didn't feel I had an option to leave in the heat of the situation.

"These men were speaking to the gay guys in what I would call a harsh and abusive way", the statement said. I felt I was going to be attacked.

"I chose to intervene and asked Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale to stop abusing Kai and William".

"Mr Stokes, Mr Hales, Mr Barry and Mr O'Connor are outside of the door of Mbargo together - laughing", Cole said.

The court has heard it was Stokes who had struck Ryan Ali, knocking him to the floor.

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

Medical evidence was also provided to verify the claims Ali sustained a swelling from a fractured eye-socket and a cracked molar during the attack.

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.