Anton Ferdinand 'unlikely to make up allegations', court hears in John Terry trial

Judge to deliver Terry verdict today as court hears QPR defender had no motivation to lie

Westminster magistrates' court

Anton Ferdinand was neither "sophisticated" nor "motivated" enough to concoct false allegations of racial abuse against John Terry as the latter has argued, the court in the trial of the Chelsea captain heard yesterday.

The prosecution counsel, Mr Duncan Penny, told Westminster magistrates' court that the "pattern of behaviour" between the two men as they traded insults during a game between Chelsea and Ferdinand's Queen's Park Rangers on 23 October did not lend itself to Terry's version of events that his opponent accused him of a racial slur.

Penny said: "The Crown submits there was a pattern of behaviour which makes the allegations against Mr Ferdinand particularly unlikely, particularly given that it happened in a few seconds. This is an allegation [by Ferdinand] of [Terry] saying something racist which is far more sophisticated than straightforward playground abuse. It is very unlikely that in the heat of the moment in this particular game he [Ferdinand] had the motivation or the sophistication to make the allegation."

Terry is answering a charge of racially aggravated abuse, that he called Ferdinand a "f****** black c***". He does not deny saying the words during the game at Loftus Road, but says he was repeating them back sarcastically after Ferdinand accused him of saying them first.

The District Judge Howard Riddle adjourned the court until 2pm today, when he could potentially deliver a verdict, although he may wait until tomorrow to do so. The maximum penalty for Terry if he is found guilty will be a fine of £2,500.

In his closing submissions for the defence, Mr George Carter-Stephenson QC raised the possibility that Terry could have "misunderstood or misinterpreted what Mr Ferdinand was saying to him", adding: "It's the defence's case but it's quite clearly something that comes into play."

Developing the theme later, Mr Carter-Stephenson QC said his client Terry could have mistakenly "interpreted" the word "Bridge" as "black". Ferdinand had admitted that he was goading Terry about an alleged extra-marital affair with the former partner of his erstwhile Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge in the exchange between the pair.

As well as a misinterpretation, Mr Carter-Stephenson QC said: "There is a very realistic theory someone in the crowd is shouting simultaneously some sort of insult as Ferdinand's lips are moving." He claimed that on the audio of the footage played to court the voices of the crowd could be heard clearly, including the phrase "f****** mongrel". Riddle later acknowledged this as a potential explanation.

The defence cast Ferdinand as an "unreliable" witness especially in recalling conversations. Mr Carter-Stephenson QC pointed out that in his submission, Ferdinand said he would have been "livid" to have been racially abused and yet when the footage of the game was first brought to his attention he "did nothing".

The defence said that in the light of the abuse Terry was accustomed to receiving at games it was "implausible" that he "totally lost it" in response to taunts from Ferdinand, as suggested by the prosecution. In reference to Ferdinand, Carter-Stephenson said: "You might ask yourself: who is the person who lost control that day? Who is following another player to the halfway line, shouting abuse at him?"

The prosecution said the court should consider Ferdinand "brave" for supporting the allegations against a player who was then England captain. Penny said: "This case may follow him around for the rest of his career... he made a grave allegation against the England captain."

The post-match conversation between Terry and Ferdinand in the Chelsea dressing room was conducted by Terry and Ashley Cole to "smooth things over", Penny said. "They were hoping to know what he [Ferdinand] knew or had heard." Terry denies the charge. The case continues.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones