John Terry racism trial day 1: Rio Ferdinand’s film choice and Vanessa Perroncel
JOHN Terry. What a geyser, eh? The Chelsea captain was at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London, for the start of his trial for allegedly racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. The trial will last five days.
Also in court was Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence. He was knifed to death by racists. Does her presence prejudice your view on the matter?
The Queens Park Rangers defender tells the court that he did not hear the allegedly racist comment from the Chelsea captain during the match in October 2011. But had he done, he would have found it “very hurtful”.
On Twitter, Anton’s older brother, Manchester United mainstay Rio Ferdinand, tweets:
The tableau is set.
Terry claims that before he said anything to Anton, the QPR defender had infomed all within earshot that Terry was “shagging Bridge’s missus“. That was, of course, a reference to the claim that Terry had extra-marital sex with one Vanessa Perroncel, mother to former Chelsea player Wayne Bridge’s son.
Other highlights of that conversation and courtroom exchanges are:
Terry to Anton after the match to Anton: “It’s handbags innit – it’s what happens on the pitch.”
Douglas Penny for the prosecution: “The defendant, most probably in response to physical gestures being made by Mr Ferdinand in which the defendant understood to refer to the well-publicised allegation of an extra-marital affair… shouted at Mr Ferdinand. The words he uttered included ‘fuck off’… a ‘fucking black cunt’ and ‘fucking knobhead’. The Crown alleges that the words he used demonstrated hostility based on Mr Ferdinand’s membership or presumed membership of a racial group.”
Penny: “[the words black cunt were] uttered as an abusive insult demonstrating hostility based in Ferdinand’s membership of a racial group. They were uttered by the defendant in response to goading by Ferdinand on the issue of his extra-marital affair.”
Anton Ferdinand (Terry has appealed for a penalty kick): “I was annoyed because I didn’t think it was a penalty. I turned and said to get up, I said ‘you’re bigger than me. I can’t remember if he responded straight away. He ran at me and barged me. I think it was into my back. I turned around and ran at him and barged him back…He called me a cunt and I called him a cunt back and he gave me a gesture as if to say my breath smelled. I said to him, ‘How can you call me a c***? You shagged your team-mate’s missus, you’re a cunt.'”
Ferdinand admits he made a hand gesture to represent sex.
Anton Ferdinand claims Ashley Cole (Chelsea) told him after the game: “You can’t talk to JT like that.”
Ferdinand to Cole: “I am a big man, I can talk to who I want however I want. If he wants to do something he has to expect to get that type of criticism on the pitch.”
Ferdinand on learning of Terry’s choice of words: “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.”
Earlier Terry told the FA: “Me and Anton are having an altercation still, when I feel as though he’s said to me ‘a black cunt’. Now at that point I don’t, at any point, think he’s calling me a black cunt, I think he’s accusing me of calling him a black cunt in the altercation.”
Terry had asked Ferdinand to visit the Chelsea dressing room. There, he says he asked Ferdinand: “Are you accusing me of calling you a black cunt”. Ferdinand answered: “No, not at all.”
Terry denies using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour which demonstrated “hostility towards that person based on his membership or presumed membership of a particular racial group”.