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Terry to hear verdict in player racial abuse case

A magistrate is expected to deliver his verdict in the John Terry racist slur case today.

The Chelsea fooballer is accused of racially insulting Anton Ferdinand, 27, of Queens Park Rangers, during a Premier League match last October.

Making his closing speech at Westminster Magistrates' Court yesterday, prosecutor Duncan Penny said on Terry's account, Ferdinand had used an obscenity.

Terry, 31, claims he simply repeated back the slur Ferdinand wrongly thought he had used, and denies a racially aggravated public order offence.

The pair had traded insults in the run-up to the alleged racist insult.

Ferdinand taunted Terry about his alleged affair with a team-mate's ex-girlfriend, while Terry implied the QPR player had bad breath.

Mr Penny said it was unlikely Ferdinand would have had the "motivation or frankly the sophistication" in the heat of the moment to make up an allegation that Terry had used racial abuse.

"A false allegation of racism would be an accusation which involved more sophisticated thought processes than had hitherto been going on, on that football pitch," Mr Penny added.

Making his closing speech, George Carter-Stephenson, QC, for Terry, said the prosecution case was based on "speculation". He said: "This is not a case about racism. The prosecution in cross-examination conceded he is not a racist.

"The way this case is put is that on this occasion Mr Terry completely lost his cool and made an in- appropriate remark making reference to a physical characteristic of Mr Ferdinand, namely his colour, in response to words conceded to have been repeated taunts and insults referring to his alleged affair with Mr [Wayne] Bridges' partner."

He told the court there was no direct evidence about what Terry had said, other than the Chelsea defender's own account.

Mr Carter-Stephenson said Ferdinand was "inconsistent and unreliable both on words and events and could not satisfy the court to the criminal standard".

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