John Terry Trial: Day 2 AM – Camera angles and 2,000 character witnesses

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.”

Terry says that during the conversation, Frank Lampard, Daniel Sturridge and Ashley Cole were all in the same area of changing room. Ferdinand told Terry he didn’t think he had been racially abused and he hadn’t accused him of it.

Terry says he is aware that it doesn’t look good on tape but “we know about all the camera angles [in modern football]. If i wanted to, I could whisper something in someone’s ear. I have nothing to hide.”

Kennedy asks Terry “is it possible you could have heard something else or misheard him?” Terry replied: “No. I’m not trying to make stuff up.”

Terry: “I know i am being filmed when i say those words, you can say it doesn’t look good but in the context…”

Kennedy: “Most people would say it wasn’t very sensible to say the words [fucking black cunt] back [to Ferdinand].” She asks why did he repeat the words when he could have said something like “I didn’t call you that.”

Terry: “I’m repeating what he’s said to me, and that’s as far as it goes really. I could get 2,000 character witnesses [who know I’m not racist]. Whether it’s Spanish or Ivory Coast players, I welcome them into the club and into my home.”

Of course, this case isn’t trying to decide whether Terry is guilty of being a racist, rather whether he is guilty of making a racist remark.

The Crown then called Detective Sergeant Dave Gibson, who interviewed Terry under caution on November 25th, to give evidence.

In Terry’s statement to the police he said:”I am very much aware of my public obligations as England and Chelsea captain. Chelsea have a multicultural group of players and as captain it is my responsibility to integrate them. While footballers are used to industrial language, using racist terms is completely unacceptable whatever the situation. [Insults] towards me are not uncommon in today’s game and I have become immune to such words. My commitment to the projects [Desailly and Drogba’s work in Africa] demonstrate I’m not a racist.”

Terry spoke of his meeting with Ferdinand after the game where he confronted him about the allegation. “If he felt I’d made racist remark towards him that was ideal time to say it. He didn’t because it wasn’t true.”

Detective Constable David Doherty, who was the lead investigating officer in the case, was then called to give evidence.

Police took statements from Fitz Hall, John Obi Mikel, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic. Terry was involved in another altercation in the tunnel although this was apparently unrelated to the accusation of racism. Terry and Fitz Hall got the players in to the respective dressing rooms after this.

Defence in Terry trial asks DC Doherty whether it is correct that Ferdinand was ‘reluctant’ to speak to police initially. Ferdinand intially told the police “you don’t need me, it’s on tape, a jury can make up their mind.”

Doherty says that Ferdinand’s life off the field is very disorganised and that they met on a street in Soho to get the statement signed. He also says that PR man, Justin Rigby, acted as “a facilitator” in enabling police to get in contact with player and played an “active part” in police enquiries.

The prosecution case in the Terry trial was completed at 12.30pm.

The defence in the Terry trial attacked the lip-reading evidence by saying it is “not a precise science” and not at “appropriate level” to reach a conviction. They argue the evidence is insufficient to be certain about whether Terry’s words were accusatory or inquiring. Whilst in the opinion of the lip-reader, Terry said “you”, she conceded it could have been “a”, which changes the meaning of what was said.

Defence also claimed that Anton Ferdinand “is clearly not a reliable witness”.

The defence said “there is a perfectly plausible explanation provided by Mr Terry” and the evidence against him is “so weak and tenuous … this case should not go forward”.

At 1pm, the Chief magistrate adjourned the trial until 2pm and will consider defence submission that the case should not go forward.