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QPR footballer Ilias Chair is sentenced to a year in jail in Belgium after he fractured a truck driver’s skull with a rock in a row on a kayaking trip


QPR star Ilias Chair has been sentenced to a year in prison in Belgium after fracturing a truck driver’s skull.

The midfielder, who is believed to be married and has a young son, was on Friday morning given his sentence with a 12-month suspended sentence and was also ordered to pay the victim £13,400.

He has been one of Rangers‘ star players since debuting in 2017, flourishing after a loan spell with Stevenage in the 2018-19 season.

The 26-year-old has made 222 appearances for QPR in his career, including 31 this season, picking up five goals and four assists in the Championship as his team fight relegation.

They will now have to do so without one of their key men, after he caused the injury on a kayaking trip four years ago.

QPR star Ilias Chair has been jailed for a year in Belgium after fracturing a bus driver’s skull

The 26-year-old was also handed a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay the victim £13,400

The 26-year-old was also handed a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay the victim £13,400

Chair is believed to be married and have a young son, regularly sharing posts of his family on social media

Chair is believed to be married and have a young son, regularly sharing posts of his family on social media

Chair's brother was also involved in the incident and was handed a six-month suspended sentence and £700 fine

Chair’s brother was also involved in the incident and was handed a six-month suspended sentence and £700 fine

QPR released a club statement in the wake of the news, saying they will make no further comment because ‘the legal proceeding is yet to reach its conclusion’.

It was heard in the trial in Antwerp, his home town, that Chair, alongside his brother, Jabeur, and a group of friends, had an argument with the driver in Bazeilles, France, in the summer of 2020.

Jabeur was handed a six-month suspended sentence and a £700 fine. 

All those involved were waiting for a bus back to Belgium after the trip, with Antwerp’s public prosecutor telling a January hearing: ‘The consequences were dramatic for Niels T [the driver]. He suffered a severe skull fracture, two centimetres long, and was taken to hospital at Reims in critical condition.

‘Afterwards he had to recover for a long time in a Belgian hospital, and could not do his job as a lorry driver for a long time.

‘The blow was almost fatal for him, and he still feels the after-effects.’

Chair has been a regular for QPR this season and scored the winner in their last game on February 17

Chair has been a regular for QPR this season and scored the winner in their last game on February 17

Chair denied being the person that used the rock and asked for a re-trial with a different lawyer

Chair denied being the person that used the rock and asked for a re-trial with a different lawyer

The court heard last month that while queueing to board the bus, another woman in a green bikini lashed out, ‘hitting, scratching and biting’ others as she demanded to be the first onto the bus.

‘This led to a discussion with other people who were waiting, including the later victims, Niels T, his sister Eline T and Dries D,’ the prosecutor said. ‘The woman in the green bikini behaved very aggressively and things quickly escalated. the hand. The woman lashed out at the victims and their children.’

A big brawl is said to have broken out, which resulted in a man, believed to be Chair, grabbing a rock and hitting Niels T, who lost consciousness.

Chair denied that he was the man that used the rock and asked for a re-trial with a different lawyer, which is said to have been denied.  

Niels T’s lawyer said: ‘My client almost lost his life, and it took surgeons to save him.

‘He was unable to work for a long time, and still suffers adverse reactions every day to having been hit with a rock.’

He is also a Morocco international, and played at the 2022 World Cup as his side finished fourth in the tournament

He is also a Morocco international, and played at the 2022 World Cup as his side finished fourth in the tournament

Chair’s QPR are currently 22nd in the Championship table, one point off safety with 33 games played.

The midfielder last played for the side on February 17, scoring the winner against Bristol City.

He is also a Morocco international, and played at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as his side finished fourth. 



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