John Terry cleared of racism charges

Friday July 13, 2012

Former England captain John Terry has been cleared of racially abusing fellow footballer Anton Ferdinand.

The Chelsea and England defender denied making the comments to the Queens Park Rangers player during a match last October.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said he had heard evidence to show Mr Terry was not a racist.

He said it was "highly unlikely" that Mr Terry abused Mr Ferdinand in the manner he was accused of.

Mr Riddle added: "The prosecution evidence as to what was said by Mr Ferdinand at this point is not strong.

"It is therefore possible that what he [Mr Terry] said was not intended as an insult, but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him.

"In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty."

There were cheers in court from the footballer's supporters as he was cleared. 

A spokesman for the Chelsea player said: "The court has today acquitted John Terry of all charges.

"He did not racially abuse Anton Ferdinand, and the court has accepted this."

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