Jul 102013

Yesterday it was confirmed that Ted Terry, the father of Chelsea captain John, has been charged with racially-aggravated assault.

John Terry was banned for five matches after the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand on the pitch. Just like the chief magistrate in court, they deemed his defence “improbable and contrived”.

This isn’t Ted’s first trouble with the law either. Three years ago he admitted to being a drug dealer after being charged but avoided jail time.

Anton took to Twitter last night to make a dig at the family whose connection with racism just won’t seem to go away.

Jul 132012

Whilst it is probably unlikely that the FA will act against John Terry after the verdict today, it is certainly possible. To be convicted of a criminal offence, you have to appear guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”. As it cannot be proven that Terry didn’t think he heard Anton accuse him of calling him a “black cunt” and as it cannot be proven that Terry wasn’t merely repeating this accusation back to him, he cannot be found guilty. “Nobody has been able to show that he is lying.” That is the crucial part of the summary of this case. Whatever your personal opinion may be, with the evidence provided, the judgement today is the right one.

However, as Luis Suarez found earlier this year, the FA rule on “the balance of probability”, which is a lower standard than the criminal standard.

The chief magistrate summarised the findings of the trial before giving his “not guilty” verdict. In Scotland, they would refer to this as “not proven”, which some may argue would be appropriate to this case.

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Jul 132012

Why Terry won’t be found guilty

– The defence argue John Terry was merely repeating back what Anton Ferdinand said to him. Terry argues he heard Ferdinand accusing him of calling Ferdinand a “black cunt”. Defence also suggest that Terry could have misheard “Bridge” as “black”.
– The defence painted Ferdinand as an unreliable witness.
– Lip-reading is not a science.
– There’s no direct evidence from any witness as to what Terry actually said or how he said it apart from Terry himself.
– Ashley Cole’s evidence supports Terry’s claim that Ferdinand said “black”
– Several character witnesses support defence’s argument that Terry has endured abuse on and off the football pitch for years but has never snapped and remains calm.
– Defence argue that there is a “danger” in trying to interpret body language (in response to argument that Terry doesn’t look “surprised” by what Ferdinand said, but “hostile”).
– Terry claimed he was aware there were cameras on him so if he wanted to racially abuse someone he would whisper it in their ear.
– Terry plays for a football club with players of different races from around the world and as captain, it is his role to integrate them in to the club. He has worked with Didier Drogba and Marcel Desailly’s charities that help Africa.

Why Terry will be found guilty

– Ferdinand says he did not accuse Terry of a racial slur on the pitch. How could Terry be repeating “black cunt” if Ferdinand never said it?
– The prosecution argue that Ferdinand doesn’t have the sophistication or motivation to invent a false accusation.
– The lip-reading experts gave the opinion that Terry said “you fucking black cunt (pause) you fucking knobhead” which is not a question, or repetition, but an insult.
– Terry used the word “you” in his first statement about what he said to Ferdinand. “You black cunt.” This then changed to “a fucking black cunt?”.
– The prosecution argue that if Terry was merely repeating back what Ferdinand said, why did he add an extra “fucking” in to what he said?
– The prosecution argue that Terry was using what he perceived as a vulnerability to insult Ferdinand in response to Ferdinand insulting him about “shagging his mate’s missus”. In the same game, Terry called QPR goalkeeper a “fat cunt” so used the first description of Ferdinand that came to mind when calling him a “black cunt”.
– Prosecution argue that in the video footage Terry doesn’t look “surprised” when he is responding to Ferdinand but “hostile”. In response to the defence claiming there is a “danger” in trying to interpret body language, the judge said: “But we do it all the time.”
– Cole was 25 yards away when he claims to see Ferdinand say “black”. If the defence want evidence from lip-reading experts who’ve had the benefit of video replay to be discounted, how can Cole’s evidence taken from a football game be relied upon?
– Prosecution agree that Terry is not guilty of being a racist but is guilty of making a racist remark.

Jul 122012

Today started with the closing arguments from the defence and prosecution, with the prosecution arguing that Terry is no stranger from using physical attributes as a means of verbally abusing someone, whilst the defence argued Ferdinand was an unreliable witness and Terry could have easily misheard what Ferdinand said to him initially.

“It is unlikely in heat of the moment Mr Ferdinand would’ve had sophistication or motivation to make the allegation,” said the prosecution at the start of the day. They Chief Magistrate to consider Terry’s demeanour when crucial exchange took place with Ferdinand. They question whether it was surprise, like Terry had claimed, or “hostility”.

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Jul 112012

Following John Terry giving his evidence this morning, England and club team mate, Ashley Cole, was called to the stand.

The Chief Magistrate asked Cole to stand up but he replied: “I’d prefer to sit.”

“I told my lawyer I didn’t want to get involved,” Cole said. “I know JT and I know Anton.”

Cole is questioned by the defence and talks of the racial abuse he received whilst playing for England and in European away games for his club.

Cole said he sat Terry running back and Ferdinand “making gestures” and “shouting things”. He said he heard “Bridgey” or “Black” followed by “cunt”.

When Cole said “cunt” he spelt it out and the Chief Magistrate told him to just say it. “Don’t be shy”. Cole replied: “I’m not.”

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Jul 112012

The day started with Anton Ferdinand’s parents finding Terry supporters in the seats they had been sitting in on Monday and Tuesday. The Terry supporters refused to move and the Ferdinands complained to the officials.

Duncan Penny, the Crown prosecution, suggested there was a discrepancy between what Terry told the FA about incident in October and his version of events now. He highlighted fact that Terry told FA he didn’t hear what Ferdinand was saying when he made ‘fist gesture’, but now he says that he did.

Then, after showing slow motion footage of the incident, which just focusses on Terry, Penny argues Terry was not repeating what Ferdinand had said, as he claimed yesterday, but was insulting him.

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Jul 102012

Day two of the trial began with demonstrators outside Westminster Magistrates Court holding up ‘Climate Emergency’ banners as Terry arrived. Terry‬ swapped his grey suit with pink tie for traditional dark suit with black tie for his expected appearance in the witness box.

Anton Ferdinand’s parents and Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, were in the public gallery again.

The prosecution started by showing court further video footage from the QPR v Chelsea match, particularly focussing on action before alleged incident took place. As he did yesterday, Terry made notes whilst sat in dock.

After the footage, the court were played an audio recording of the interview that took place on October 28th between Terry and FA Regulatory officer, Jenny Kennedy, about the alleged incident.

Terry said: “I think he’s accusing me of calling him a black cunt in the altercation…it’s clear to say I repeat what he’s said… his breath didn’t smell or anything but i pretended it did… I obviously hear [from Ferdinand] the word ‘shagging’ and I don’t want to say it, but if I have to ‘shagging Bridge’s missus’. Then I heard ‘calling me a black cunt’ [from Ferdinand]. I was quite taken aback by that… I have been called a lot of things in my career but being racist is not one I am prepared to take at all… I said to Ash shortly after ‘he’s accused me of being a racist’…I said I needed to speak to Anton. I’m not fucking having him thinking that of me. I got showered sharpish so I could speak to him.”

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Jul 092012

This morning we found out that the argument over John Terry trying to win a penalty after a coming together with Anton Ferdinand lead to a, well, “debate”, as Terry called it.

Terry called Ferdinand a cunt, Ferdinand responded by claiming Terry was a cunt for shagging his team-mates’ missus.

For clarity, the “shagging gesture” demonstrated by Ferdinand in court was fist clenched, right arm across midriff, arm pumped to and fro.

This afternoon, Terry’s lawyer (George Carter-Stephenson), who speaks with a repeatedly raised and angry voice, asked Ferdinand if he “upped the level” and accused Terry of racism because he had failed to wind him up with shagging gestures. He also accused Ferdinand of feeling guilty after the game because of an “unfounded allegation”.

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Jul 092012

Crown alleges Terry said to Ferdinand: “Fuck off, fuck off, fucking black cunt, fucking nobhead.” Crown says there is “very little dispute” between lipreading experts on what Terry said to Ferdinand but the defence claims it was “sarcastic”.

Footage of the incident was shown which was filmed by Chelsea‬ for “future training purposes” and unbroadcast footage from Sky Sports.

Five days after the game, both players gave statements to the FA. Terry said he used phrase “black cunt” on the pitch but only to ask Ferdinand why he was alleging that the insult had been used. Terry said he made gesture “pretending Mr Ferdinand had bad breath”.

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