But it had taken almost nine months for Terry's case to reach this stage.
In the intervening period it caused a chain reaction which eventually led to him being stripped of the England captaincy.
That led to Fabio Capello leaving his position as England manager in response to what he saw as interference from his employers.
The sport has also had to grapple with the key question of how prevalent racism is within its ranks.
For example, Anton Ferdinand, who Mr Riddell agreed had been "brave" in giving evidence to the court, had to endure taunts and chants from fans for the majority of last season over his role in the incident.
Police also investigated a case of "malicious communication" when it is believed a bullet was sent in a letter to QPR's training ground addressed to him.
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