Former England football captain John Terry has had his first day in the dock today at an expected five day trial to work out the extent of his alleged racism towards fellow footballer, Queen's Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. Terry has been accused of a racially aggravated public order offence during a Premier League match on October 23rd last year when his club side Chelsea played Qpr. He has denied the charge.
The Guardian reports that Terry was alleged to have called Ferdinand a "black c***", also telling him to "f*** off" and calling him a "f***ing k***head" in the exchange. The prosecution opened with Duncan Penny saying "The crown alleges that the words he used demonstrated hostility based on Mr Ferdinand's membership or presumed membership of a racial group." Terry's defence is that he only used the term sarcastically, and that the words came in response to Ferdinand's own goading over an extra marital affair that Terry had with one-time team mate Wayne Bridge's partner.
"The crown alleges that the defendant, most probably in response to physical gestures being made by Mr Ferdinand, which the defendant understood to refer to the well-publicised allegation of an extramarital affair with a team-mate's wife, shouted at Mr Ferdinand" Penny said. He went on: "The crown's case is that the words were abusive and insulting in a straightforward sense and that the term 'fucking black c*nt' was uttered as an abusive insult demonstrating hostility based on Mr Ferdinand's membership of a racial group. They were uttered by the defendant in response to goading by Mr Ferdinand on the issue of his extramarital affair, rather than by way of exaggerated and instant querying of a perceived false allegation."