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."
James Foley 'beheaded': PM cuts holiday short for emergency meeting on British response to latest Isis atrocity
Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 4 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence