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

Ben Stokes with his wife Clare arriving at Bristol crown court this morning

England cricketer Ben Stokes was the "main aggressor" in a fight outside a nightclub, a court has heard.

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 past year.

The prosecution said Stokes told police he intervened with Ali and Hale because he overheard "nasty homophobic language", then told police he acted in self-defence when he thought he was about to be hit with a bottle.

In his first statement to police, Stokes described how he and England teammate Alex Hales were heading to a casino when they saw "two guys who were obviously gay" being spoken to by "two much larger men".

"While I was trying to stop the fighting, one of the males struck the other in the head with a clenched fist". I said something like 'leave it out - you shouldn't be taking the piss because they're gay'.

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

"I believe I felt threatened", he said. "I got a little frightened so closed the window and went back to bed".

"I walked into the road to try to separate the group and get in between them".

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He identified Stokes to attending police officers, who arrested him.

"They had shown a willingness to use weapons in attacking people and were willing to gang up such that at points, the pair of them were attacking me on my own".

The player allegedly made "fun" of two men for their "camp behaviour" and impersonated their hand movements, before flicking the butt of his cigarette at them, the jury heard.

When asked about separating Stokes and Ryan Ali, 28, Mr Spure told the court: "The individual seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to another individual".

Mr Ali and Mr Hale have also pleaded not guilty to affray and are on trial alongside the cricketer.

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

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. He was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary by ambulance and diagnosed as having suffered a fracture to the medial orbital wall on the left side of his face. 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.

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