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Ben Stokes identified as “main aggressor” in Bristol fight | Cricket Bats | England

Ben Stokes has been described as “the main aggressor” in an incident that left a man with a fractured eye socket on the third day of his trial at Bristol Crown Court.

Stokes, who is standing trial for affray alongside Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, was described as “trying to get at another individual” by Mark Spure, an off-duty member of the police force, who witnessed part of the incident.

Spure, who works for Avon and Somerset constabulary as a PCSO (police and community support officer), told the court he “saw a group of people fighting” as he made his way home at the end of a night out.

He said he attempted to get between Stokes and Ryan Ali as Stokes appeared to be “the main aggressor” but, as he did so, Stokes punched Ali “with a clenched fist.” Ali, Spure said, was “trying to back away or move away from the situation” before the punch was thrown.

“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 saw the male punch another male. It was right in front of me.”

The court also heard details of the injury Ali is alleged to have sustained from the blow. 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. He also had a cracked left molar as well as other bruising.

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 jury was also read a statement from another witness. Jess Thomas, who was a student living in a flat overlooking the road on which the incident is alleged to have taken police, described how she saw “five or six males rolling around” in the road. They “seemed to be piling about on top of one another,” she said.

“It seemed like a confused situation,” her statement continued. “No one particular individual stood out as being particularly violent. I got a little frightened so closed the window and went back to bed.”

The trial continues.

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