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Terry used racial slurs in response to affair taunts, court hears

The Chelsea captain is facing a racially aggravated public order charge relating to accusations made by QPR defender Anton Ferdinand after a match in October 2011

Chelsea defender John Terry used racial slurs toward QPR centre-back Anton Ferdinand after being taunted over his alleged affair with a former team-mate's girlfriend, a court heard on Monday.

Terry allegedly called Ferdinand "a f****** black c***" after being mocked over his much-publicised affair with Wayne Bridge's girlfriend during the latter's spell at Chelsea.

The 31-year-old is appearing in court charged with a racially aggravated public order offence during a Premier League game in October of last year at Loftus Road.

The court heard that the pair traded insults during the match but the Chelsea captain insists that he was only sarcastically repeating racist obscenities that Ferdinand wrongly thought that he had used.

The QPR defender told the court that he had not initially heard the insults but was shown a clip later and believed that they had been said, adding that he would have found the remarks "very hurtful" if he had heard them at the time.

"Industrial" language is commonplace on a football pitch, it was heard, but Ferdinand continued: "But when someone brings your colour into it, it takes it to another level and it's very hurtful."

Earlier in the day, the prosecution opened their case by saying: "The Crown's case is that the words were abusive and insulting in a straightforward sense.

"They were uttered by the defendant in response to goading by Mr Ferdinand on the issue of his extra-marital affair, rather than by way of exaggerated and instant querying of a perceived false allegation.

"The Crown alleges that the defendant, most probably in response to physical gestures being made by Mr Ferdinand which the defendant understood to refer to the well-publicised allegation of an extra-marital affair with a team-mate's wife, shouted at Mr Ferdinand.

"They were uttered by the defendant in response to goading by Mr Ferdinand on the issue of his extra-marital affair, rather than by way of exaggerated and instant querying of a perceived false allegation."

Terry was allowed to view footage of the alleged incident, including previously unbroadcast pictures, which were also shown to the court

Terry was allowed to view footage of the alleged incident, including previously unbroadcast pictures, which were also shown to the court.

Meanwhile, the court was also told that Chelsea team-mates Ashley Cole and John Obi Mikel were in the vicinity of the alleged incident, but will not be called up as witnesses for the prosecution.

After the incident had taken place Terry gave a statement to the Football Association saying the taunts about his alleged extra-marital affair did not bother him as "it's not the first time I've heard it, so it's with a pinch of salt a little bit now".

He also said that “we're still having a, sort of, ding-dong, if you like” but added that “I take quite a strong offence” at the allegation of racial abuse.

In a statement to police in November, Terry also said: "Whilst footballers are used to industrial language, using racist terms is completely unacceptable whatever [the] situation.

"I was completely taken aback by this remark as I have never been accused of something like that and I did not take his remark lightly at all, and took strong offence to his suggestion."

If convicted, Terry faces a maximum penalty of a £2,500 fine for an offence that has already seen him lose the England armband, an episode that directly led to the resignation of Fabio Capello.

The trial will resume on Tuesday at 10:00BST.

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