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Verstappen found guilty of assault but avoids jail sentence

DUTCHMAN Jos Verstappen was found guilty of assault by a Belgian court on Monday, but the Arrows driver avoided a jail sentence after he agreed an out-of-court settlement.

The 28-year-old was given a five-year suspended sentence by public prosecutor Cedric Stuyck because Belgian law allows a defendant who makes a financial settlement to be given a lighter sentence.

Verstappen, who was not present at the court case, will now have to stay out of trouble for the next five years if he is to avoid a jail sentence. His father was also given the same five-year suspended sentence for his part in the incident.

The charges against the two came after they were involved in an incident over the use of a karting track in Lanaken, near Tongeren, Belgium, in 1998.

Verstappen, whose future in Formula One remains unclear with a seat with Arrows for 2001 yet to be confirmed, and his father fought with a 45-year-old man, who was left with a fractured skull.

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