Matildas Captain Sam Kerr Pleads Not Guilty To Racially Aggravated Harassment Charges

Matildas Captain Sam Kerr Pleads Not Guilty To Racially Aggravated Harassment Charges
Image: Sam Kerr @CommBankMatildas Facebook

Matildas captain Sam Kerr has been charged with racially aggravated harassment against a London police officer and is set to face trial in the UK.

The footballer made a virtual appearance at Kingston Crown Court on Monday following allegations that she employed insulting, threatening, or abusive language, which allegedly caused alarm or distress, to a police officer during an incident in Twickenham in January last year.

The Chelsea striker chose to address the court solely to verify her identity and formally declare her plea of not guilty.

The Metropolitan police made a statement about the incident, “Samantha Kerr, 30 (10.09.93) of Richmond, was charged via postal charge requisition on 21 January with a racially aggravated offence under Section 4A Public Order Act 1986.”

“The charge relates to an incident involving a police officer who was responding to a complaint involving a taxi fare on 30 January 2023 in Twickenham.”

Football Australia To ‘Monitor’ Situation

Football Australia (FA) released a statement acknowledging the legal proceedings involving Sam Kerr in the United Kingdom.

“Football Australia is aware of the legal proceedings involving Sam Kerr in the United Kingdom.”

“As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are unable to provide further comment at this time. Our focus remains on supporting all our players, both on and off the field. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide support as appropriate,” an FA statement read.

The alleged incident occurred on January 30, 2023, hours after Kerr’s impressive hat-trick which secured Chelsea’s 3-2 FA Cup win over Liverpool.

Kerr has captained the Australian women’s national team since 2019 and is considered one of the best strikers in the world.

In 2022, she surpassed Tim Cahill’s 50-goal record to become the highest-scoring player for Australia and holds the honour of being the first Australian (male or female) ever to score a hat-trick at a World Cup.

In October last year, the newly constructed State Football Centre in Queens Park was officially renamed as the Sam Kerr Football Centre to honour the captain’s world-leading career.

Kerr has scored an impressive record of 99 goals in 128 career matches for the English team Chelsea and has been sidelined due to a serious knee injury.

The star’s father, Roger Kerr, confirmed that she was “definitely” ruled out of the Paris Olympics due to her ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, which she has been undergoing rehabilitation for.

The Matildas secured their qualification for the event with a dominant 10-0 victory over Uzbekistan in Melbourne last week.

Judge Judith Elaine Coelle stated that she believed Kerr’s defence would likely assert that she did not intend to upset the officer.

“I understand that the defence is that she didn’t intend to cause alarm, harassment or distress to the officer, [her behaviour] did not amount to it, and it was not racially aggravated,” Judge Coelle told Kerr’s representative barrister Grace Forbes.

Kerr must attend the four-day trial at Wimbledon Magistrates Court in February next year, with two police officers expected to testify during the proceedings.

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