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Omar Sharif guilty of punch attack
Feb 13 04:31 PM US/Eastern
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Actor Omar Sharif has been ordered by a US court to take an anger management course for punching a parking attendant who refused to accept his European currency.

The Egyptian-born actor known for roles in Dr Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia was not required to be in court in Beverly Hills, California.

A no contest plea to a charge of "misdemeanour battery" was entered on his behalf by lawyer Harland Braun. Sharif was in Egypt at the time.

Superior Court Judge Richard Stone placed Sharif on two years' probation and ordered that he attend a 15-hour anger management programme, which he can take in Egypt.

Sharif was also ordered to stay 100 yards away from the victim, witnesses and the restaurant where the incident occurred.

The judge adjourned the case to April 18 to determine the amount of restitution to the victim. Outside court, Braun said the victim was asking 17,000 dollars (�8,500) for a broken nose.

A no contest plea is the same as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes in a criminal case, but it cannot be used as an admission of guilt in a civil case.

A civil lawsuit filed by the car valet, Juan Anderson, alleged Sharif and a female companion were leaving a Beverly Hills steakhouse on June 11, 2005 when the actor became upset that his Porsche SUV was not waiting.

According to the lawsuit, Sharif was belligerent and intoxicated and called Anderson, a Guatemalan immigrant, a "stupid Mexican" when he refused to accept a 20 euro note. Anderson alleged Sharif then punched him.

In August 2003, Sharif was convicted of striking a police officer at a casino near Paris. He received a one-month suspended sentence and a 1,700 dollar (�850) fine.

© Copyright Press Association Ltd 2007, All Rights Reserved.
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