Terry 'goaded prior to insult'
First day of court case comes to an end
Last Updated: July 9, 2012 6:47pm
John Terry: Chelsea captain is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence
John Terry was goaded about an alleged affair before throwing a racist insult at Anton Ferdinand, a court heard on Monday.
Chelsea and England defender Terry, 31, is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence during a Premier League match on October 23 last year, which was broadcast to millions of people.
Appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Monday, Terry sat in the dock wearing a light grey suit, white shirt and pink tie.
The court heard that Terry swore and racially abused Queens Park Rangers player Ferdinand as the pair exchanged insults.
Opening the prosecution, Duncan Penny said: "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 extra-marital affair with a team-mate's wife, shouted at Mr Ferdinand."
He went on: "The Crown's case is that the words were abusive and insulting in a straightforward sense...and they were uttered as an abusive insult demonstrating hostility based on Mr Ferdinand's membership of a racial group."
Terry maintains he was only sarcastically repeating words that Ferdinand wrongly thought he had used.
He is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence, which he denies.
At first Queens Park Rangers centre-half Ferdinand did not think any racist insult had been used.
He shook hands with Terry and accepted that their clash was "handbags" and "banter".
But after the match, his then girlfriend showed him a clip of their exchange posted on YouTube, and he believed Terry had used the racist obscenity.
Ferdinand told the court that if he had realised at the time he would have told officials.
He said: "I would have been obviously very hurt and I probably wouldn't have reacted at the time because, being a professional, you can't do that. I probably would have let the officials know what happened and dealt with it after the game.
"When someone brings your colour into it, it takes it to another level and it's very hurtful."
Terry met with Ferdinand after the match to ask what had happened.
"Mr Terry said, 'Do you think I racially abused you?'. I was like. 'No'," Ferdinand told the court.
"I said 'No, that never came out of my mouth'. Then Ashley Cole popped his head round and said 'Yeah, didn't you say that to me?' I said 'I didn't say that at all'."
George Carter-Stephenson QC, for Terry, claimed Ferdinand's agent Justin Rigby said there was a fear that if no further action was taken, black footballers would see it as "a white man's word against a black man's word".
He alleged Ferdinand only decided to go to the police when Mr Rigby persuaded him to, but the QPR player denied this.
The case is being heard by Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle, and there is no jury.
Both television clips and unbroadcast footage of the incident, which would normally be used for training purposes, were shown to the court.
In a statement made to police last November, Terry said he was offended by the accusation that he had used racist language.
The statement read: "Whilst footballers are used to industrial language, using racist terms is completely unacceptable whatever (the) situation.
"I was completely taken aback by this remark as I have never been accused of something like that and I did not take his remark lightly at all, and took strong offence to his suggestion."
The trial, expected to last five days, continues on Tuesday.