Slapping sentence called into question
Published Thursday, May 22, 2014 9:13PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 23, 2014 8:27AM EDT
In October 2010, Moussa Sidime slapped his thirteen-year-old daughter Nouténé twice across the face, frustrated with the way she had done her chores.
Though this aggression didn’t leave a physical mark, the young girl was rushed to the hospital where she died of brain hemorrhage.
Wednesday, Longueuil resident Sidime was given a 60-day jail sentence for his actions.
He told the court he had no intention of hurting his daughter – and said he had no idea a slap would lead to her death.
Sidime plead guilty to manslaughter.
The ruling that followed was made considering that the accused had no history of violence, had expressed remorse, and would have to live without ever seeing his daughter again.
But, the case has raised many questions.
Quebec’s Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee will not yet comment, because she said the case may still be appealed.
“A lot of people were surprised and a lot of people want to see if there will be an appeal,” said PQ Justice critic Alexandre Cloutier.
Some legal experts say the sentence seems light, considering a life was lost – but, point out the fact that a father will never again see his daughter was also considered.
“It seems lenient, it seems unfair,” said lawyer Maria Battaglia. “Because at the end of the day we had a child that died, and obviously even the accused has to live with this reality for the balance of his life.”
Those who work with children say the story is a painful reminder that corporal punishment could have devastating consequences.
A 2012 survey found that 35 per cent of Quebec children had experienced some type of physical punishment.