A Canadian man was sentenced to 60 days in jail this week for slapping his 13-year-old daughter so hard that she later died.
Moussa Sidime, 74, from Quebec, had pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge stemming from a 2010 confrontation with his teenage daughter, which ultimately resulted in her death.
According to court documents, the man got into a heated argument over chores with 13-year-old Noutene Sidime and slapped her on both sides of her face.
The girl collapsed to the floor unconscious with blood trickling from her nose. Mr Sidime called 911 and Noutene was rushed to a hospital, CTV News reported.
The 13-year-old girl spent three days in a coma at the Montreal Children's Hospital before succumbing to her injures
A medical examiner determined that the teenager died from a cerebral hemorrhage caused in part by the slaps.
Moussa Sidime was initially charged with aggravated assault causing death, but the count was later changed to involuntary manslaughter.
On Wednesday, a judge in Quebec ruled that the 74-year-old patriarch will be able to serve his 60-day sentence on weekends over the course of 30 weeks.
Judge Richard Marleau took into account the defendant’s obvious remorse and his spotless criminal record. Sidime’s jail term will be followed by two years’ probation.
‘We knew that in his heart he meant only the best for his daughter,' said Aissatou Sidime-Blanton, the victim’s eldest sister.
Crown prosecutor Julie Laborde said after the hearing that the sentence sent a message that corporal punishment is never the answer to a child's misbehavior.
The 74-year-old married father was on his way back to the living room when he said he overhead his daughter talking back to him, he told the court in February.
He slapped the child twice on the face and once on her backside.
A few minutes later, Mr Sidime heard a thump coming from the kitchen. He went to investigate and found Noutene lying on the floor with blood on her face.
The man tried to revive the girl after calling 911, but she never regained consciousness.
An autopsy later found that Mr Sidime’s blows caused Noutene to twist her neck in such a way that an artery was ruptured, cutting off the flow of oxygen to the brain.
‘If I had known one slap would kill her … I can't believe it could be fatal,’ a sobbing Mr Sidime told the court in February, saying that it was the first time he raised his hand on Noutene, according to Toronto Sun.
The father described Noutene, a gifted young artist who aspired to be a lawyer, as the kindest of his children and insisted, ‘I’m not a villain.’
‘We love her dearly, we didn’t want her to go, but it was what God wanted at that time. This is one of those freak accidents that, as he has said, if he could take it back, he would take it back,’ Sidime’s eldest daughter told Toronto Star after the sentencing.