Judge criticises Terry entrapment

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The Independent Online

A judge has criticised the News of the World for "setting up" the father of England footballer John Terry in a public cocaine scandal.

Edward Terry, 56, admitted supplying 3.5g of the class A drug to a reporter from the newspaper, who was posing as a chauffeur in order to run a story, last November.

"It is a very, very clear case of entrapment solely to create a newspaper story," said Judge Christopher Mitchell, as he spared Terry from jail.

"The offence was actually created by the actions of the newspaper sending a journalist to set you up. It is clearly an entrapment case and the only reason they did this was to create a story because of your connections to a well known footballer," the judge added.

Terry, of Chafford Hundred, Essex, was sentenced to a suspended prison term of six months at Basildon Crown Court and ordered to do 100 hours of community service and pay £95 costs.

The court heard reporter Dan Sanderson had befriended Terry at an Essex wine bar, Unit 4, over a six-week period between September and November 2009. On 5 November, Sanderson went into the bar with two colleagues and asked Terry if he knew where he could source cocaine, the court heard. Terry agreed to supply it for a fee of £120 as well as an additional £40 for facilitating the deal.

Neil Saunders, for the defence, told the court: "Mr Terry would not have acted in the way he did and committed this offence but for being enticed by the journalist who befriends Mr Terry, meets with him on a couple of dozen occasions at the minimum, simply for a tabloid story."