John Terry appears in court charged with racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand (Reuters)
John Terry appears in court charged with racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand (Reuters)

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has appeared at teammate John Terry's racism trial and told the court he believes the hearing should not even be taking place.

When asked by the prosecutor for his view on the charges against Terry, 31, who is accused of racially abusing Queen Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a match last October, Cole said that he heard Ferdinand shouting the words "Bridgey, or black" and "c**t" at Terry during the game.

Cole, also 31, added that he saw 27-year-old Ferdinand making a pumping gesture with his fist in reference to Terry's alleged affair with the ex-girlfriend of former teammate Wayne Bridge.

Cole claimed he spoke to both Terry and Ferdinand after the game, and told the court: "JT was saying he thought Anton had said 'something black' [on the pitch] and he's just repeated it. That was it.

"I think we shouldn't be sitting here, personally."

Cole's statement echoes the defence put forward by his long-time Chelsea and England colleague Terry, who insists he was merely repeating the words "f*****g black c**t" at Ferdinand, who had originally said them to him.

Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole: John Terry\'s racism trial shouldn\'t even be taking place

Terry's defence team also presented a statement signed by several Chelsea players, including strikers Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres, and midfielders Raul Meireles and Michael Essien. The statement read: "I've never heard John Terry use any form of racist language."

Manager Jose Mourinho provided a character statement, which maintained: "I am certain John Terry is not a racist."

Terry's lawyers had asked for the case against him to be dismissed citing lack of evidence and the reliability of Ferdinand as a witness. The appeal was rejected by chief magistrate Howard Riddle, who said Terry did have a case to answer.

If found guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence, Terry faces a maximum fine of £2,500. The case continues.