Chelsea captain faces down prosecution claims he racially abused Anton Ferdinand because of anger over affair allegations
Chelsea captain John Terry "snapped" when his "blood was up" after QPR player Anton Ferdinand taunted him over an alleged affair, it has been claimed in court.
The former England captain was angered by comments and a "slow fist pump" gesture made by Ferdinand relating to an affair Terry allegedly had with the ex-girlfriend of former team-mate Wayne Bridges, Westminster magistrates court heard on Tuesday.
"You couldn't control your emotions that day," prosecutor Duncan Penny put to him in the witness box. "You're not a racist. But you used racist language that day because you snapped. You were fed up with people abusing you over the issue with your wife?"
Denying he snapped, Terry replied: "It was almost two years on and I'd heard it a million times before."
Terry, 31, has pleaded not guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence of calling Ferdinand, 27, a "fucking black cunt" during the televised QPR v Chelsea game at Loftus Road on 23 October last year.
He claims he was repeating back words Ferdinand had said to him because he was "shocked and angry" that he thought Ferdinand had accused him of racism.
Under cross-examination , Terry agreed words such as "cunt", "prick" and fuck", were part and parcel of the game, as was calling another player "fat" or "ugly".
"There are no-go areas aren't there?" asked Penny. "Wives, girlfriends. 'I shagged yours', that sort of thing?"
"I wouldn't call them no-go areas," replied Terry.
"Your domestic circumstances, the position is any allegation, as far as you were concerned, was a no-go area?" asked Penny.
"Clearly not," replied Terry, who said he was used to dealing with abuse over the alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, fielding comments on it "more or less every game" when he "just laughed it off".
He told the court he often repeated insults back to other players. Penny asked him: "You said that your response was to repeat back 'a black cunt', or 'calling me a black cunt'. How about 'what'? Straightforward, 'what?'".
Terry replied: "At the time I was shocked and angry. I had never been accused of it on a football pitch and repeated it back."
After the game, he asked Ferdinand to come to the Chelsea dressing room, because he wanted to sort it out. "I said: 'I thought you were accusing me of calling you black cunt'. His reply to that was: 'No, no, no,'" he said.
He claimed Ferdinand had then said: "We all said things we shouldn't have said", and the two agreed it was "just handbags" – or banter – and shook hands.
Terry agreed he had been "stiched up right and proper" by the allegations.
Asked if he had considered apologising to Ferdinand, he replied: "Why would I apologise to Anton when he is the one who accused me? What I said was in response to what Anton said to me."
Ferdinand, who gave evidence on Monday, denied accusing Terry on the pitch of calling him a "black cunt". He only became aware of the remarks Terry is alleged to have made when his girlfriend showed him YouTube footage on her BlackBerry about an hour after the match ended in the QPR players' lounge, he said.
The court heard the initial complaint of racism was made by an off-duty police officer watching the Premier League game on TV.
The court was told that Terry was interviewed by Jenny Kennedy, the head of the Football Association's off-field regulation, five days after the alleged incident.
Telling her he had "nothing to hide", he said he was repeating an accusation he thought Ferdinand had made about him during an ill-tempered exchange. He admitted: "If you watch the video and me, watching the video, you can quite easily say that, that doesn't look good.
"But at the same time, in the context of what I thought Anton accused me of, you know no one can argue what my feelings were at that time."
Terry was "not prepared" to be called a racist, he told the FA in the interview, played to the court. "I have been called a lot of things in my football career and off the pitch, but being called a racist I am not prepared to take.
"That's why I came out and made my statement immediately. I am not having Anton thinking that about me, or anyone else. That's not my character at all."
Earlier, Terry's defence had argued in court that the case against him was "so weak and tenuous" it should be thrown out. George Carter-Stephenson QC said there was "no proper prima facie" evidence against the 31-year-old centre back, telling the chief magistrate Howard Riddle that Ferdinand's reliability as a witness was "clearly not good". But Riddle rejected the defence's call.
The defence also argued that lip-reading experts had agreed it was impossible to clarify from the footage what had been said at the key moment. The case continues. Read More
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