Ben Stokes mocked two gay men, bouncer tells trial

  • Ben Stokes mocked two gay men, bouncer tells trial

Ben Stokes mocked two gay men, bouncer tells trial

Ben Stokes was the "main aggressor" in a late night street fight in Bristol that left one man with serious facial injuries including a broken eye socket and deep cut to his face, a court heard.

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

Mark Spure, off-duty police community support officer (PCSO), gave evidence on Wednesday and said he saw a group of people involved in a "scuffle" as he left Mbargo nightclub in the Clifton area of Bristol.

Cunningham said he did not step in until Stokes flicked a cigarette butt at the men.

Jurors heard how Stokes said he acted in defence of himself, England teammate Alex Hale and Mr Barry and Mr O'Connor at all times, adding that they thanked him for protecting them.

The jurors were shown security camera footage of Ali and Hale holding beer bottles along with Kai Barry and William O'Connor, who the prosecution described as "flamboyant, extrovert and openly gay" regulars at the nightclub.

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

"While I was trying to stop the fighting, one struck the other with a clenched fist and he fell to the floor", Spure said. I took exception and said "leave it out" and "you shouldn't be taking the piss because they're gay". Hales said: "I feel bad".

"Neither of us had met the two guys who attacked us with bottles prior to this point - although I had of course seen them briefly. As I was on my own, when I separated two of them more people carried on behind me", the statement continued. "I was concerned for myself and others", he claimed.

Hale, who it is alleged was punched by Stokes in footage captured on a mobile phone and played to the jury on Tuesday, cycled to hospital later on Monday and was found to have sustained a 1.5 inch superficial laceration to his forehead.

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