John Terry Trial: Day 4 AM – Anton’s lack of sophistication and perceived vulnerability

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”.

The prosecution then compared lip-readers’ evidence to that of pathologist examining a stab wound. They are there to offer expertise but not definitive answer.

The defence had argued that Ferdinand had been reluctant to give evidence because he wasn’t telling the truth. The prosecution deny this, instead saying: “Mr Ferdinand is not the first reluctant witness to appear in court. You may wish to consider he was brave in making allegations.” They questioned what would be in it for Ferdinand to make such an allegation against the England captain, knowing that the case would follow him for the rest of his career.

In the post-match conversation between Ferdinand, Cole and Terry, which all three claimed happened at a different time, the prosecution argued Ferdinand had been asked to speak to them to try and resolve the situation after Terry had racially abused him.

“Mr Terry and Mr Cole were feeling their way with Mr Ferdinand, hoping to smooth it over, to find out what he knew.”

In Cole’s evidence yesterday, he said he was looking at Ferdinand during the altercation, not Terry. He said he saw him say “Bridgey” or “Black” followed by “cunt”.

The prosecution said there’s a “profound irony” that Chief Magistrate is asked to discount lip reader evidence then rely on Cole saying he “saw” what Ferdinand said. They argued lip-readers watched television replays whilst Cole saw what Ferdinand said from 25 yards away during a football match.

Prosecutor then reminds judge that Terry used the word “you” in his first statement about what he said. “You black cunt.” This then changed to “a fucking black cunt?”.

Two days ago, footage was shown of Terry gesturing to QPR goalkeeper Paddy Kenny about his weight. The prosecution argued yesterday: “You used ‘black’ because it was a feature of him you chose to pick out. Like Paddy Kenny is ‘fat’ and other people are ugly.”

This morning, the prosecution emphasised this point, saying Terry picked on what he “perceived as a vulnerability” when he called Ferdinand ‘a fucking black cunt’.

The defence seemingly acknowledge the prosecution’s argument that Terry looks more “hostile” than he does “surprised”. They argue there is a “danger” in interpreting body language in footage but the District Judge disagrees: “Yes, but we do it all the time.”

It was then the defence to argue their case and they started by taking a shot at Ferdinand’s credibility.

“Mr Ferdinand’s evidence is inconsistent, unreliable and could not satisfy court to the criminal standard required. There’s no direct evidence from any witness as to what Mr Terry actually said apart from Mr Terry himself, or how he said it.”

In Ferdinand’s statement to the FA he didn’t reveal what he had said about “shagging Bridge’s missus”, which the defence used to strengthen their point.

Whilst lipreaders opinion was Terry said “you” and not “a” before “black cunt”, defence reminds the court that the lipreaders couldn’t confirm it definitely wasn’t “a”.

The defence argued that the suggestion that Terry spoke with Cole to Ferdinand to “square things up” doesn’t “hang together” because of Cole’s friendship with Ferdinand family. The Ferdinand‬s were sitting in court and were seen snorting and shaking their heads at this suggestion.

The defence then argued that it was a “very realistic possibility” that Terry could have misheard “Bridge” as “black”. They said Terry could have heard a “simultaneous” voice in crowd say what he thought was “black” as Ferdinand’s lips moved.

The judgement will not be given before 2pm tomorrow.

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