Longueuil man sentenced after slaps that killed daughter
Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:32AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 21, 2014 9:13PM EDT
His family rallied around him, a Longueuil man was sentenced to 60 days in jail Wednesday for a slap that led to his 13-year-old daughter's death.
Moussa Sidimé will be able to serve his sentence on weekends over 30 weeks, which will be followed by two years of probation.
Sidimé, 74, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the death of his daughter Nouténé. Sidimé's family appeared at the Longueuil courthouse throughout the trial. His eldest daughter Aissatou Sidimé-Blanton said Wednesday her sister's death had been difficult for her father.
"For him it's been very hard and it will be. As a parent you lose a child, it stays with you," she said.
In 2010 Sidimé got into an argument with Nouténé about how she was conducting her chores and he slapped her on both sides of her face.
She collapsed and Sidimé called 9-1-1 to say she was unconscious and bleeding from her nose. Three days later Nouténé died at the Montreal Children's Hospital, never coming out of a coma.
Sidimé was initially charged with aggravated assault causing death, and spent 19 days in jail before being released on bail.
After a pathologist's report that Nouténé died of a cerebral hemorrhage and that the slaps were a factor in her death, the charges were changed to manslaughter. Sidimé pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
The Sidimé family says the death was a tragedy, and an accident.
"We knew that in his heart he meant only the best for his daughter," said Sidimé-Blanton.
"She was my baby sister. Yes it was devastating and we miss her and we commemorate her."
The Crown said the sentence sent a message.
"Corporal punishment is never the answer to a child's misbehaviour. The message has to be sent and to the opinion of the court that message was already heard by the community and accused himself," said Crown prosecutor Julie Laborde.
This was Sidimé's first criminal offence and, he said, the first time he struck his teenaged daughter.
"If he could take it back, he would take it back. We all would," said Sidimé-Blanton.
The judge took many factors into consideration, including no perceived risk he will reoffend. He will live part-time at home while he serves his sentence.
Son Sekou Sidimé said he is relieved, but said nothing will erase the grief of his sister's death.
"It's a tragedy that's going to be with us for the rest of our lives because every single day, we think about her," he said.