Sport Soccer

Monday 20 November 2017

John Terry racism defence plan to make ‘bad character’ application against Anton Ferdinand

John Fahey

THE barrister defending Chelsea captain John Terry over a criminal racism charge might make a bad character application against Anton Ferdinand, his alleged victim, a court heard today.

Terry, 31, will stand trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on July 9 accused of a racially-aggravated public order offence - shouting an offensive comment at Ferdinand.

The comment was allegedly made, and seemingly caught on footage, to the Queens Park Rangers defender when the two teams met during a Premier League match in October.

Today, during an administrative hearing ahead of the trial, Terry's barrister, George Carter-Stephenson QC, said he was considering making a bad character application against Ferdinand.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, bad character "means the commission of an offence or other reprehensible conduct", and is used to cast doubt on a witness's evidence.

Mr Carter-Stephenson said: "There is likely to be an application for bad character against Mr Ferdinand about two incidents."

No details were given about the incidents.

However, the barrister added: "There is pertinent evidence which we believe will assist the court."

The Chelsea star did not attend today's hearing after playing for England last night in their quarter-final defeat to Italy at Euro 2012.

He denies the offence.

The court heard that both the prosecution and defence have commissioned experts to study the CCTV footage of the defender allegedly making the comment.

The experts are due to meet this week to discuss their findings and iron out any issues, two of which, the court heard, were pronunciation and body language.

District Judge Howard Riddle said he wanted a single report taking in both opinions.

In private, the court also discussed security arrangements for the trial, which is expected to last five days.

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