Sunday 22 October 2017

Terry: I get affair taunts during every game but I just laugh it off

John Terry, the England defender accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, has told a court he faces taunts about allegations of an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, a team mate's girlfriend, at "more or less every game".

Mr Terry (31) is accused of calling Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" during a Premier League match on October 23 last year.

He says he was sarcastically repeating the words that the QPR centre-half mistakenly thought he had used.

Mr Terry is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence, which he denies.

Yesterday he told Westminster Magistrates Court that as the pair traded insults, he heard Mr Ferdinand say: "calling me a black c***".

Mr Terry said he was "very angry and upset" when he thought Mr Ferdinand had accused him of racism.

He said he was "frequently" insulted on the pitch and had "heard it all before".

The Chelsea defender said: "It's part and parcel of the game, you just get on with the game basically." He said he would be taunted about allegations of an affair with former team-mate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend at "more or less every game".

But he said he would "just laugh it off basically".

"I thought he was accusing me of calling him a black c***.

"I was very angry and I was upset. I replied 'a black c***, you f****** knobhead'".

Mr Terry was giving evidence after his lawyers failed to have the case thrown out. They argued in court that Mr Ferdinand's "unreliability" as a witness meant the case should not proceed any further. The magistrate rejected that plea, leaving Mr Terry to take the stand shortly after 2pm.

It emerged yesterday that the only person who initially complained to police about Mr Terry was an off-duty police officer watching on television.

Mr Terry's lawyer, George Carter-Stephenson, said that on November 4, one of Mr Ferdinand's camp told police "he didn't see why" he should be involved and "any jury can make up their own mind".

But soon after, Mr Ferdinand's public relations agent Justin Rigby began pushing the police to charge Mr Terry, Mr Carter-Stephenson said.

Investigating officer Detective Constable David Doherty denied this was the case during cross examination.

The session ended with Mr Carter-Stephenson applying to the district judge, chief magistrate Howard Riddle, to dismiss the case.

The barrister said Mr Ferdinand was an unreliable witness and the lip-reading experts agreed it was impossible to clarify what was said at the key moment from the footage.

He said the case was "so weak and tenuous it does not warrant it going any further".

The case continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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