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Stepney sentenced in Italy

NEWS STORY
29/09/2010

Nigel Stepney, the man who kick started the infamous Spygate scandal, has been fined and handed a jail sentence for his role in the saga.

Other than a token 600 euro fine he was also handed a twenty-month jail sentence, however, because of the way the Italian legal system works the Englishman is unlikely to actually serve any time in jail.

Stepney, who was chief engineer at Ferrari at the time, and said to be on a salary approaching 1m a year, was accused of sabotage and leaking confidential data to McLaren. For its role in the saga the Woking team was find $100m.

It's understood that his lawyer Sonia Bartolini entered a plea bargain thereby reducing the punishment - originally a 900 euro fine and thirty months in jail - meted out to the Englishman.

"We are satisfied, even if my client has always denied sabotage," Bartolini told the Gazzetta di Modena website after the hearing in Sassuolo. "We have to thank the prosecutor for agreeing to a plea bargain. Initially the sentence was much higher."

Originally the FIA urged teams to give Stepney and his partner in crime Mike Coughlan a wide berth. However, in time, the FIA relented and Stepney was able to find work in GT racing. That said, our sources claim that Gigawave MotorSport - the Essex-based GT team which took a gamble on Stepney and gave him a job when no one else would touch him with the proverbial bargepole - were allegedly less than impressed with the man.

Nonetheless, in the parlance of such a person... he's got a result.

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