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Ben Stokes trial: All-rounder accused of being ‘main aggressor’

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ben Stokes was the “main aggressor” in the fight outside Mbargo nightclub, a witness told Bristol Crown Court on day three of his trial for affray.

Off-duty police community support officer Andrew Spure, who attempted to separate Stokes and Ryan Ali, one of the two other men standing trial, said of the England all-rounder: “The individual seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to another individual.”

He said Ali “seemed to be trying to back away or get away from the situation” before he was punched by Stokes.

Spure said he had attempted to move Ali out of the road, as there were passing cars, but he was “completely unable to move”.

Spure identified Stokes to police officers, who then arrested him.

According to the prosecution, Stokes first hit Ryan Hale, knocking him to the ground, before rendering Ali unconscious in the second punch, seen by Mr Spure. Hale and Ali both also stand trial for affray.

Ali is alleged to have threatened Alex Hales with a bottle during the incident, while Hale broke off a metal pole from a nearby road sign before returning towards the fracas.

Stokes is alleged to have offered doorman Andrew Cunningham £300 to gain entry to the Mbargo nightclub, which was refused due to the time having passed 2am. Cunningham said Stokes had mocked two gay men, Kai Barry and William O’Connor, before heading up the road. According to Hale’s defence barrister Stephen Mooney, Stokes was: “aggressive, threatening, unpleasant, bullying. That was his state of mind he was in when he walked up towards The Triangle.” That, the court has heard, is when he ran into Hale and Ali. The trial continues.

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