John Terry could become first professional footballer in England convicted of racial abuse during a game (Reuters)
John Terry could become first professional footballer in England convicted of racial abuse during a game (Reuters)

A court has heard that Chelsea defender John Terry used "straightforward racial abuse" towards QPR's Anton Ferdinand and was not merely repeating the words Ferdinand said to him.

During Terry's trial, in which he is accused of racially abusing Ferdinand during a game last October, the England defender claimed he was merely sarcastically repeating what the QPR defender had shouted at him as they exchanged insults.

But prosecutors said his defence was implausible, highlighting the fact that Terry added an extra expletive at the start of his response to Ferdinand.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny said Terry had "lashed out" at Ferdinand after he taunted him about an alleged affair with former teammate Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend.

Penny says Terry added the word "f*****g" to the offensive term he is accused of directing at Ferdinand and asked Westminster magistrates court: "If it's rhetorical repetition why are any other words spoken by Mr Terry at all?

"Are they simply a plain response, a retort, lashing out verbally, just as Mr Terry did in the original exchange? Just as he did with the hand over the mouth to imply bad breath? Just as he did with the 'f*** off, f*** off' directed towards Mr Ferdinand?

"Finally, when he was fed up, he picked up on the topic of Mr Ferdinand's abuse, namely the [alleged] extramarital affair, and retorted with 'and yours', or something to that effect, and straightforward racial abuse."

Penny also said Ferdinand lacked the motivation to lie about the alleged racial abuse

"It's very unlikely that Mr Ferdinand in the heat of the moment, with five minutes to go would have had the motivation, or the sophistication, to make the allegation suggested, bearing in mind the consequences.

"A false allegation of racist conduct is an allegation which involves more sophisticated thought processes [than those] which had hitherto been going on, on that football pitch."

The prosecutor concluded that the case will follow Ferdinand "for the rest of his career", adding: "You may wish to ask yourself the question, whether in truth he was brave to give evidence in this trial."

Defence lawyer George Carter-Stephenson described Ferdinand's evidence as "inconsistent and unreliable" during his closing argument, and said the prosecution was purely based on speculation.

He detailed how Terry had faced abuse about his alleged affair "hundreds of times before" and had never previously lost his temper.

"This is not a case about racism. The prosecution in cross-examination conceded that he is not a racist.

"The way that this case is put is that, on this occasion, Mr Terry completely lost his cool and made an inappropriate 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 Bridge's partner."

Chief magistrate Howard Riddle is expected to deliver his verdict on Friday. If found guilty, Terry faces a maximum fine of £2,500 and would be the first professional footballer in England convicted of racial abuse during a game.