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Terry to face police charges in Anton Ferdinand "race row"

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service has announced that it will press charges against the England captain.

Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

ENGLAND CAPTAIN JOHN TERRY is to face charges over alleged racist comments made to Anton Ferdinand.

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service has found that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the Chelsea defender for “a racially aggravated public order offence”.

Terry will now appear before West London Magistrates’ Court on 1 February next year.

Terry strongly denies claims that he racially abused Ferdinand in an altercation between the pair during Chelsea’s Premier League visit to QPR on 23 October. Police opened their investigation following a complaint by a member of the public.

BBC’s Richard Conway reports that Terry has been “charged with a summary only offence” which carries a maximum penalty of £2500.

Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London, said this afternoon: “I have today advised the Metropolitan Police Service that John Terry should be prosecuted for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments allegedly made during a Premier League football match between Queen’s Park Rangers and Chelsea on 23 October 2011.

The decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and after careful consideration of all the evidence, I am satisfied there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case.

“Mr Terry will appear before West London Magistrates’ Court on 1 February 2012.

“He is now summonsed with a criminal offence and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice his trial.”

A statement from Chelsea read: “Chelsea Football Club today received notification that the Crown Prosecution Service has charged John Terry with a racially aggravated public order offence.

John has made it clear he denies the charge and is determined to do all he can to prove his innocence. Chelsea FC has always been fully supportive of John in this matter and will continue to be so.

The club finds all forms of discrimination abhorrent and we are proud of the work we undertake campaigning on this important issue.

“Chelsea will not be commenting further on the subject while the legal process runs its course.”

The CPS confirmed Terry will be prosecuted under section 31 (1) (c) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and released details of the charge against him.

“On 23rd October 2011 at Loftus Road Stadium, London W12 you used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress which was racially aggravated in accordance with section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.”

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Niall Kelly

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