John Terry’s lawyer yesterday accused rival player Anton Ferdinand of being an “unreliable” court witness who had no self-control.
George Carter-Stephenson attacked the QPR defender, whom the Chelsea captain is alleged to have racially abused on the pitch.
He said Ferdinand’s account of the verbal clash between the two men had been “inconsistent”.
Terry (31) denies he flew into a rage after Ferdinand taunted him about his sex life and retaliated by calling him a “f***ing black c***”.
Mr Carter-Stephenson, summing up the defence case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, said Ferdinand (27) had been the aggressor. “His anger arose out of Mr Terry’s appeal for a penalty,” he said. “Who actually is the person who lost control on that day?”
He said it was Ferdinand who was fuming, taunting the Chelsea skipper over his alleged affair with a former team-mate’s girlfriend. And he added: “Who is it who’s following another player to the half-way line, shouting at him and abusing him and repeating an insult, as on his evidence he said he did over and over again?
“That might be a good indication as to who has lost it.” In contrast, he said Terry had displayed “uncanny mental strength” and would not have hurled a racist remark in anger. “Mr Terry has 600 games behind him by way of professional, top-level experience, spanning 14 years,” said the lawyer.
“He’s only been sent off on four occasions, never in relation to his use of language. He is 31 years of age and this has never happened before.” Earlier, prosecutor Duncan Penny said: “The key issue in this case is to determine...whether the words ‘f***ing black c***’ were said in insult.”
The judge is due to rule today on whether Terry is guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence, which carries a maximum sentence of a stg£2,500 (€3,160) fine.