John Terry trial will not take place until after Euro 2012

 

England captain John Terry will not face trial for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand until after the Euro 2012 championships.

The Chelsea defender did not attend the first hearing in the case at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London today.

But his barrister, George Carter-Stephenson QC, entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

Terry, 31, is accused of a racially-aggravated public order offence over video footage which appears to show him shout an offensive comment at QPR defender Ferdinand during a Barclays Premier League match in October.

District Judge Howard Riddle ordered that he should stand trial in the week beginning July 9 after hearing that a number of other Chelsea players would not be able to appear as witnesses until the end of the football season.

The public gallery of Court 1 in the modern court building was packed with journalists for the hour-long hearing, which covered the timing of the trial and arrangements for witnesses.

Mr Carter-Stephenson handed the district judge a letter from Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay, who appealed for the trial to be delayed until after his players' domestic and international footballing commitments are over for the season.

The final of Euro 2012, which is being hosted by Poland and Ukraine, takes place on July 1.

Terry, who faces a maximum fine of £2,500 if convicted, has repeatedly denied making the alleged slur during the game at Loftus Road on October 23 last year.

The footballer's solicitors, Grosvenor Law, said in a statement after the hearing: "Now that the court has fixed a date for trial, Mr Terry looks forward to the opportunity to clear his name.

"Mr Terry has consistently and resolutely maintained that his well-publicised remarks were made in the belief that he was being accused of racist abuse by Mr Ferdinand.

"Mr Terry was shocked and disgusted by that accusation at the time. Mr Terry denies making any racist statement, and will establish in court that he is not guilty of such offence.

"Mr Terry has never racially abused another player in his entire career."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there