Verstappen faces jail over wife assault

Jos Verstappen

(GMM) Former formula one driver Jos Verstappen appeared in court this week, accused of harassment and assault against his wife.

The 36-year-old Dutchman, who most recently contested grands prix with Minardi in 2003 and now races sportscars, faces a maximum of eight months in prison, with a verdict set to be announced early in January.

He told the court on Tongeren, located near his residence in the Flemish region of Belgium, that he accepts he is experiencing "relationship problems" with his separated wife, but said he believed the legal proceedings were excessive.

His wife, the Belgian ex-kart driver Sophie Kumpen, claims Verstappen has threatened her by text message, assaulted her, and last week slashed the tires on her car three times, the Dutch radio Omroep Brabant said.

Verstappen and his wife have two children.

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