Verdict due in Terry trial

A verdict is expected today in John Terry's trial for allegedly using a racist obscenity about Anton Ferdinand.

Terry, 31, is accused of calling the QPR centre-half a "f****** black c***" during a Premier League match on October 23 last year.

He claims he was sarcastically repeating a slur that Ferdinand mistakenly thought he had used, and denies a racially aggravated public order offence. This afternoon Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle is expected to give his verdict in the case at Westminster Magistrates' Court and, if convicted, Terry faces a maximum fine of £2,500.

Yesterday, during closing speeches, prosecutor Duncan Penny said on Terry's account, Ferdinand had used the words "calling me a black c***". This meant that Terry added the word "f******", and had also used the word "and" before the racial obscenity, Mr Penny said.

"If it's rhetorical repetition, why does the word 'and' feature at all? Why are any other words spoken by Mr Terry at all, beyond 'a black c***?'," Mr Penny asked.

He said Terry had used "straightforward racial abuse" rather than repeating anything, and that it was unlikely that Ferdinand would have had the "motivation or frankly the sophistication" in the heat of the moment to make up an allegation that Terry had used racial abuse.

George Carter-Stephenson QC, for Terry, told the court that the prosecution case was based on "speculation". He said: "This is not a case about racism. The prosecution in cross-examination conceded that he is not a racist. There is an abundance of evidence in this case to prove that fact.

"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 (Wayne) Bridge's partner."

He told the court there was no direct evidence about what Terry had said, other than the Chelsea defender's own account. Mr Carter-Stephenson said Ferdinand was "inconsistent and unreliable both on words and events and could not satisfy the court to the criminal standard".

He went on: "No matter what the words actually were, if they were or may have been Mr Terry repeating back what he believed Mr Ferdinand had accused him of, then that's the end of this particular case."