John Terry trial will not take place until after Euro 2012
Wednesday 01 February 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."
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
The biggest ranch in America, larger than the whole of London, has gone on sale for $725m
Melissa McCarthy's brilliant response to one sexist question posed to her on the red carpet by a male reporter
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
- 1 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 2 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
- 5 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage