Ben Stokes tells jurors he downed six vodkas and three lagers before street brawl where ‘victim could’ve been killed’

The 27-year-old, who was accused of being the "main aggressor", told jurors he wasn't drunk after he went out to celebrate England's one-day win over the West Indies.

He took to the stand today and said he and his teammates went out for a meal – where he had two or three lagers – and some got taxis into Bristol city centre before going to Mbargo nightclub.

Stokes said he had five or six vodka and lemonades in Mbargo before going to nearby Pryzm and drinking "more than one" vodka and lemonades.

He and his "best friend" teammate Alex Hales decided to go back to Mbargo but the court previously heard he was refused entry because it was after 2am.

Bouncer Andrew Cunningham, 37, told the court that Stokes called him a "c***" and even tried to bribe him with £300.

PA:Press Association1
Bodycam footage was released this morning after it was shown to the jury yesterday
Stokes asked the officer if she could loosen his handcuffs

Outside the club, Stokes is accused of hitting ex-squaddie Ryan Hale, 27, and fireman Ryan Ali, 28, who were both left cut and bruised following the incident.

Hale told officers in a formal interview after the alleged attack that he thought Stokes could have killed him outside Mbargo nightclub, the court heard.

All three men were on trial accused of affray but in a dramatic twist, the judge today instructed the jury to find Hale not guilty following legal submissions.

The judge told the jury that his involvement is such that they could not conclude he was using unlawful violence. Hale was discharged and left the dock.

It comes as never-before-seen footage of Stokes, 27, being handcuffed was released today after being shown in court on Wednesday.

The arresting officer told him: "A guy over there was covered in blood and I've been told you punched him".

Stokes replied "he was abusing my two friends for being gay" and later said that he was "not going to try and do a runner or anything like that, don't worry".

The court heard that Hale told cops: “I had a constant headache which I'm probably going to go and get checked out again.

"It's the emotions of it all. The fact I've been attacked. Watching the video was shocking.

"I'm a dad. He could have killed me. I don't know why he didn't stop. You hear about it all the time – he could have.

"Just the way he was acting in the video, he could have beaten the living hell out of me. It's shocking to see someone doing that to someone who didn't do anything wrong.

"It's quite shocking to think that I've been put in a situation like that."

Hale added that he and Ali were out celebrating his promotion at work and left Mbargo when the nightclub closed on September 25 last year.

He said they were walking up Queen's Road with two gay men, William O'Connor and Kai Barry.

Hale told cops: "The first thing he did was put his hand on my knob. I'm an ex-soldier, to me its banter.

"It did not offend me at all. He was pinching my arse and I grabbed him and said 'You're coming home with me'. He said 'Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I'm going home with any other bloke'.

"He probably thought I wasn't going to be like that. I was like, it's fine, no problem and just carried on walking."

Cops released a mugshot of Stokes along with a collection of images of co-defendants Ali and Hale.

Ali had a black eye and was unable to open it following the brawl, while Hale was left with a cut lip and forehead.

Bristol Crown Court has heard Stokes was told "shut up or I'll bottle you" after he tried to defend two gay men who were being abused in the street.

Stokes was labelled the "main aggressor" in a street brawl and is accused of flicking a cigarette at a gay man before knocking out two revellers.

Jurors were told the brawl broke out in the street just moments after Stokes was refused entry to Mbargo nightclub in Bristol despite offering a bouncer £300.

But he told cops he was trying to help two "flamboyant" and openly-gay men, Kai Barry and William O'Connor, who were being taunted by two men, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Jurors were today told that the 6ft 2ins cricket star gave police a handwritten statement which said that he felt "under threat of immediate attack" and that he "needed to defend himself".

In footage of the arrest, PC Stacey Allway told Stokes: "You're being arrested because of the man in the red with the blood."

Stokes replied: "He was abusing my two friends for being gay."

Off-duty PCSO Mark Spure was in the the nightclub Stokes was refused entry to and told the court he was five metres away from a group of people "fighting".

He told the jury he tried to break up the scuffle and said the person with "ginger or light brown hair" wearing a green t-shirt was "trying to get to another man" on the road.

Mr Spure, who works for Avon and Somerset Police, said the man was "athletic" and told the court: "I walked into the road to try and intervene.

"I separated the group and got in between them. As I separated two people, others carried on behind me.

"The individual seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to another individual.

Dr Eleanor Day, who was working at A&E in the Bristol Royal Infirmary, diagnosed Ali with a fractured medial orbital wall on the left side of his face.

Hale cycled to Southmead Hospital to be assessed by medics and had a 1.5 inch cut to his face and swelling consistent with blunt force trauma, a consultant said.

Mr Cunningham told the court Stokes "took the mickey" out of the gay men and described him as a "bully".

Stokes tried to bribe him with £300 but Mr Cunningham refused and claimed he would "lose his job".

Mr Cunningham, who has four gold front teeth and is heavily tattooed, described Stokes as the "ginger one" and said he got "verbally abusive".

Stokes and Ali all deny affray. The trial continues.

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