updated

Matildas star Sam Kerr held in UK police cell on night she was accused of racial slur

The Nightly
3 Min Read
In today’s episode, we unpack the bombshell revelation that UK Police threw Matildas star Sam Kerr in a jail cell after allegedly racially abusing an officer.

Court documents have revealed that Matildas captain Samantha Kerr was taken into custody the night she allegedly racially abused a UK police officer.

According to court transcripts, there are also numerous body camera clips filmed by police of the alleged incident, that will be used as evidence.

Kerr allegedly racially harassed the officer — who has been identified only as PC Lovell by British authorities — by calling them a “stupid white bastard” or “stupid white cop” in Twickenham on January 30, 2023.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

She was charged with using insulting, threatening or abusive words that cause alarm or distress on January 21 this year, almost 12 months after the alleged incident occurred.

Kerr pleaded not guilty to the offence at a court appearance in March, and is due to face trial in February 2025. However, her lawyers are set to argue an abuse of process at a pre-trial hearing on April 26 and seek to have the charge downgraded or dropped.

The Matildas captain is believed to have been interviewed, as well as detained when she was arrested over the incident. Her defence team has requested that the transcript and audio of that interview be provided to them.

The latest revelations were detailed in the transcript of the preliminary court hearing where Kerr pleaded not guilty.

Judge Judith Elaine Coello reportedly warned Kerr would “lose credit” if she wanted to change her plea down the track, according to News Corp.

“Should there be any change in your position ... the sooner you plead guilty to this matter, if that is your intention and your wish, the earlier you do that the better, do you understand?” Judge Coello said.

“You will lose credit as time goes on and should you be convicted after trial; you will lose all credit you might otherwise have obtained. Are you clear on all of that?”

Kerr simply replied “yes”.

Harassment convictions in the UK can include a sentence of up to two years in custody when the offence is racially or religiously aggravated.

The claims against Kerr stem from an alleged dispute involving a taxi fare.

The 2018 Young Australian of the Year is said to have been sick in the back of the cab following a night out when police were called. She then allegedly made the remark.

It is also said to have occurred hours after she scored a hat-trick with her English club, Chelsea.

When news broke that Kerr had been charged, Football Australia boss James Johnson and Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson both admitted they were not aware of the allegations, sparking speculation Kerr had kept the alleged incident secret from them.

Initially, Football Australia released a statement saying the organisation would monitor the situation.

Since then, they have come out in support of the sports star saying she had a right “to a fair and just legal process”.

“Sam has pleaded not guilty and her right to a fair and just legal process is important,”FA chief executive James Johnson said in a statement.

“We trust the judicial system to handle this matter appropriately and urge respect for the legal proceedings.

“We are in touch with Sam and her team and Football Australia is committed to supporting Sam throughout this process.”

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes hasn’t confirmed when Kerr told the English club about the incident.

But Hayes said Kerr “has our full support, she knows that”.

“It’s a difficult time for her,” Hayes said on Wednesday.

“Of course I can’t comment (on the court case) ... I can say that I know she’s pleaded not guilty and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardise anything for Sam by speaking about it.

“But she has our full support, she knows that. It’s really important I get that across, it’s something I really, really value.

“There’s difficult moments, tough times, and that’s what my role is at this football club - to make sure I look after our people.

“I want to make it clear that Sam will be supported by me and everybody else.”

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 19-04-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 19 April 202419 April 2024

World on edge as Israel hits Iran in missile strike.