The week-long trial of former England soccer captain John Terry has ended with a not guilty verdict today. Terry had been accused of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match last October.
The 31-year-old Chelsea captain had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was present at Westminster Magistrates' Court. The incident happened during a tense Chelsea game at Loftus road when the team were down to nine men. Ferdinand and Terry then began trading insults over a penalty claim. Terry is accused of a racially aggravated public order offence, which he denies. He maintains that he was only sarcastically repeating what Ferdinand wrongly thought he had said.
When chief magistrate Howard Riddle read out his verdict at the magistrates court. Mr Riddle said the case was not about "whether Mr Terry is a racist in the broadest sense of the word". He said during the trial that he had heard a great deal of evidence to show that he is not. He also acknowledged that "It is understandable why Mr Terry wants to make this point, his reputation is at stake," he said.
Terry also got a thumbs up from his boss Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck who said: "We are pleased that John can now put his mind back to football, return to training and do what he has been doing for years."
However this didn't seem to cheer him up at all, as looking impassive , he was escorted by aides past the media scrum outside the court.
He made no comment.. but was he cheered by a small group of Chelsea supporters as he was driven away.
Written and Presented by Ann Salter