John Terry Trial: Day 1 PM – “Shagging gestures” and lip-readers

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”.


Ferdinand‬ said he didn’t go to police about the incident as “it was a football matter that happened on the football pitch”. He said he changed his mind about making statement to police but it had nothing to do with the involvement of PR adviser Justin Rigby. Ferdinand said he wanted the FA to deal with the matter, not the police.

The defence’s argument is that Ferdinand falsely accused Terry of racially abusing him on the pitch. It is the video footage of Terry responding to this allegation that has lead to the charge. “You added an extra racial element deliberately designed to provoke Mr Terry when all your other attempts had failed.” This contradicts Ferdinand’s claim that he heard no racial slurs on the pitch and first found out about the incident when watching the clip on YouTube.

At 3pm, Ferdinand finished giving evidence and left court. The magistrate advised him not talk or tweet about the case until it was over. Ferdinand’s mother remained in the public gallery though. Bruce Buck was sitting nearby.

The next witness was Sue Whitewood who is a self-employed freelance lip-reader. Her expertise comes from being born into a ‘profoundly deaf’ family.

Terry’s defence asserts that lip-reading is not a precise science and is “educated guesswork.” Whitelewood agress, “to a degree.” Whitewood is profoundly deaf and is answering his questions by lip-reading what he is saying.

When looking at the footage of Anton, she told the court he said: “Oi you, shagging your mate’s missus” followed by a word she couldn’t decipher.

She was then shown the second clip which features Terry and reports: “ fucking black cunt, (pause) you fucking nobhead.”

Terry’s defence then question the lip-reader, saying: “Let me put a statement to you: anybody (ie, any lip-reader) who is categoric is a fraud.” He also points out that the lip-reader admitted she was aware of the media coverage of incident before she became involved professionally. However, she claims she wasn’t aware the incident had a racial element before she worked on it, claiming: “I don’t read newspapers.”

Crown then questioned the witness, saying: “What is your opinion of the word before ‘black cunt'”. She replied: “My opinion is ‘you'”.

The second lip-reader witness in Terry trial is Lorraine Callow and she is profoundly deaf. She says there’s a “high degree of inaccuracy” in lip-reading.

The trial was adjourned at 4.45pm, ready to start again at 10am tomorrow morning.

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