England cricketer Ben Stokes claimed he punched a man for abusing another individual "for being gay", his trial heard Wednesday.Stokes, 27, is accused at Bristol Crown Court in southwest England for alleged affray, along with 27-year-old Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, 28.Stokes, jurors heard, told police in a statement that he felt forced to defend himself because it was "two on to one" in the brawl with Ali and Hale.
Shortly after the brawl erupted, Stokes is accused of losing control and attacking two local men, Ryan Hale and Ryan Ali- all three deny a charge of affray.
When asked about separating Stokes and Ali, Spure told the court: "The individual seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to another individual".
Cunningham said two gay men he knew, William O'Connor and Kai Barry, then emerged from the nightclub and began talking to each other.
Stokes, who was smoking on the evening, allegedly flicked his cigarette butt at O'Connor's head.
The jury heard he then identified Mr Stokes to police officers, who arrested the cricketer.
Mr. Spure added that Mr. Ali "seemed to be trying to back away or get away from the situation" before Mr. Stokes punched him.
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Police constable Stacey Alway, who arrested Stokes at the scene, said he was calm and compliant when she dealt with him.
England cricket player Ben Stokes arrives at Bristol Crown Court.
"One of the guys responded - he said "shut up or I'll bottle you".
"I didn't feel I had an option".
"They were complete strangers". 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.
Hale cycled to hospital, where he was found to have bruising and a 1.5in superficial laceration to his forehead consistent with blunt trauma.
"I did not known Ryan Hale or Ryan Ali, and I was forced to make a decision as to how far they would be prepared to go and what they might do if they got the upper hand". 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. 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.