Chelsea captain John Terry has been cleared of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Following a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said on Friday that Terry was not a racist and handed down the not guilty verdict after no first-hand evidence was given regarding what the Chelsea captain actually said.
“The issue for the court is not to decide whether Mr Terry is a racist – I have received unchallenged evidence he is not,” Riddle said.
“The issue is whether Mr Terry uttered the words as an insult.”
“Even with all the help received, it is impossible to be sure exactly what were the words spoken by John Terry at the relevant time.
“It is a crucial fact that nobody has given evidence about what Mr Terry said or how he said it.”
Terry was accused of calling Ferdinand a ‘f****** black c***’ during a Premier League match on October 23 last year.
Riddle described Ferdinand as ‘brave’ to give evidence, adding: “Overall I found Anton Ferdinand to be a believable witness on the central issue.”
After the verdict was announced the Crown Prosecution Service stated: “It was our view that this was not ‘banter’ on the pitch and the allegation should have been judged (upheld) by court.”
Immediately after the verdict Terry was escorted to a waiting car without giving his interpretation of the verdict.