Ben Stokes playing for England (Image: GETTY)


Ben Stokes appears with wife Clare outside court

Ben Stokes appears with wife Clare outside court (Image: GETTY)

Emergency services worker Ali, 28, suffered a fractured left eye socket and was rushed to hospital with blood pouring from his face.

Hale, 27, managed to stagger to his feet only to collapse again in a shop doorway, the jury was told.

At one stage Ali had wielded a beer bottle while Hale armed himself with a piece of metal wrenched from a road sign, it was alleged.

All three men had been drinking at the Mbargo nightclub in Bristol when the fight broke out in the early hours of September 25 last year, the court heard.

“But Mr Stokes lost his control and started to attack with revenge, retaliation or punishment in mind.

“He knocked Mr Hale unconscious and then did the same to Mr Ali.”

CCTV and mobile phone footage played to the jury showed Stokes advancing on Hale and knocking him to the ground with one punch.

“This was no trivial moment of “unpleasantness,” Mr Corsellis told Bristol Crown Court.

“It was a sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked.”

He told the jury that during the confrontation, Hale and Ali were heard saying: “Enough – move away.”

Stokes’s England team mate Alex Hales also tried to pull his friend away, jurors heard. Mr Corsellis said: “Everybody wanted this to stop except Mr Stokes.”

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Stokes, of Durham and Hale and Ali, both of Bristol, deny affray.

The all-rounder had joined the rest of the England cricket team at Mbargo to celebrate victory over the West Indies hours earlier.

They arrived by taxi at 11.30pm while friends Hale and Ali turned up about 30 minutes later, the court heard.

The three men did not meet inside the club where Hale and Ali engaged in good-natured banter with two flamboyant gay men called Kai Barry and William O’Connor.

Stokes left Mbargo with England team mate Mr Hales just before 1am.

They returned just after 2am but were told by doorman Andrew Cunningham the club had closed.

The cricketers offered £300 to get back in, but after they were refused Stokes became offensive, making an obscene remark about the bouncer’s gold front teeth and saying his tattoos were “****”, it is alleged.

Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor emerged from the club and Stokes started mimicking their gay mannerisms, the court heard.

It was alleged that Stokes flicked a cigarette butt at Mr O’Connor’s head but bouncer Mr Cunningham said “if you want to start on anyone start on me”.

Hale and Ali walked off with Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor. Stokes and Hales caught up with the four men who were involved in some kind of dispute, the court heard.

Ben Stokes playing for England

Ben Stokes playing for England (Image: GETTY)

Looking out of his bedroom window, film student Max Wilson said he saw a group of men “acting like football hooligans” and started filming the scene.

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His footage showed Ali raising a bottle at Alex Hales. The court heard that the footage showed Stokes going for Ali and there was then a struggle between Stokes, Ali and Hale.

Alex Hales appears to kick Ali in the back as he lay in the road.

Moments later, Stokes followed Hale as he backed into the road and floored him with a punch, it is alleged.

Hale was unconscious for up to 15 seconds. Off-duty special constable Mark Spure then saw Stokes knock Ali to the ground, the jury was told.

Mr Corsellis said: “Why was it necessary to punch someone this hard? Was it self-defence or was it retribution?”

Police arrived and Stokes was arrested. He told officers he had clashed with the two men for “abusing my friends for being gay”.

He said in a statement that Hale and Ali spoke in a “abusive and homophobic” way to the gay couple and he acted in self defence when Ali had threatened to “bottle” him.

Stokes played a key role in England’s victory in the first test match at Edgbaston on Saturday.

He will miss the second test at Lord’s which starts on Thursday. The trial continues.



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