JOHN TERRY called Anton Ferdinand a “f***ing black c***” during the Premiership match between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in October last year, Westminster Magistrates court heard today.

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Those were also the words lip-readers of the video of the incident thought the England captain had used these past months, but they don’t necessarily mean Terry will be found guilty as charged of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Terry’s case is that he was asking if Ferdinand really thought he had used racist terminology and that the phrase was therefore a quote, as in, for example, “yeah, like I’m really going to call you a ‘f***ing black c***’!”

But the prosecution don’t see it like that.

“The Crown’s case is that the words were abusive and insulting in a straightforward sense and that the term ‘f***ing black c***’ was uttered as an abusive insult demonstrating hostility based on Mr Ferdinand’s membership of a racial group,” prosecuting barrister Duncan Penny told the court.

According to this reading, Terry was responding to Ferdinand’s taunts over the Chelsea star’s alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the girlfriend of former Blues teammate Wayne Bridge.

“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,” added Penny.

Initially, it appears that Ferdinand accepted Terry had no racist intent, but changed his opinion after seeing a video of the clash.

Terry faces a fine of up to £2,500 if convicted. The case continues.