John Terry not guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

John Terry heard the verdict at Westminster Magistrates' Court. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Video report by Juliet Bremner

Chelsea and England defender John Terry has been cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.

Terry was acquitted of calling Ferdinand a "f** black c***" during a Premier League Game on October 23 last year.

Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle cleared the 31-year-old of a racially aggravated public order offence at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

Giving his verdict Mr Riddle said the case was not about "whether Mr Terry is a racist in the broadest sense of the word". He said he had heard a great deal of evidence to show that he is not.

Terry was taken to court because prosecutors took the view that the words used were not just banter, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Terry left the court within minutes of the verdict and was escorted past the media scrum.

He made no comment but was cheered by a small group of Chelsea supporters as he was driven away.

John Terry thanked his family and friends "for their support" in his solicitor's statement:

The Football Association reacted to the verdict by saying it had "noted the decision in the John Terry case" and will "now seek to conclude its own inquiries."

Leaving court, Ferdinand's parents, Julian Ferdinand and Janice Lavender, who attended every day of the trial, declined to comment.

Mr Ferdinand said: "I have nothing to say to you at all."