Anorak News | Chelsea’s John Terry cannot gag lip-readers

Chelsea’s John Terry cannot gag lip-readers

by | 17th, March 2012

THE Sun applies more pressure to Chelsea captain John Terry with a front-page headline:


Terry is accused of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand. Terry denies the claim. The matter will be heard in court.

The Sun is gunning for Terry, who once, allegedly, tried to obtain a super-injunction banning it and all media from reporting on his private life. Is today’s story tinged with revenge?

The Sun reports:

A BATTLE by John Terry to outlaw lip-reading evidence ahead of his looming trial for alleged racist abuse has flopped, The Sun can reveal. The soccer ace’s high-priced legal team argued at a hastily-arranged court hearing it would be unfair because the case against him revolves around a single word — “black”.

Terry allegedly called Ferdinand a “f****** black c***” when the sides met in October 2011. All we’ve seen is an out-of-context YouTube clip. “Sources” cited in the tabloids claim Terry said “blind” not “black”. The clip has no sound.

The footballer’s QC George Carter-Stephenson argued at Westminster Magistrates’ Court:

“The principal issue in relation to the lip-reading turns on the potential interpretation of one word.”

Judge Riddle responded:

“It would be wrong in principle to try to decide this on paper without hearing the evidence. I propose to follow what is, in my view, the invariable practice — and that’s to hear all the evidence.”

If there is no new evidence, what this seems to boil down to is whether or not the judge believes Terry did the crime or is incredibly unlucky. Terry says he addressed Ferdinand:

“Oi, Anton, do you think I called you a black c***?”

The matter is peppered with anomalies.

Ferdinand says he never heard Terry use any such language during the game. Terry says he was responding to something Ferdinand had said. Terry claims he was reminding Ferdinand that he had not called him a “black c***”. It was later when the thing hit the internet and media that Ferdinand became fully aware of the incident. He complained. And QPR told the FA.

The judge will pick part the details and see any other elements we have not.

But no-one is helped by the Sun using hyperbole. Is Terry really trying to “outlaw lip-reading evidence”, to gag those who would mouth against him? Isn’t Terry just appealing to law to agree with him. Isn’t that what you do in court? Is the Sun going after Terry because he once went after them..?

Posted: 17th, March 2012 | In: Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink