A Quebec man convicted of manslaughter of his daughter gets 60 days in jail.

A Quebec man convicted of manslaughter of his daughter gets 60 days in jail.

You’ve read it right and on top of this ‘gentle’ sentence, the man is to serve two times per week over a period of 30 weeks, and two years of probation later on.

On May 21, 2014 the sentence was given and it went viral in the local news.

It’s the story of a father who resorted to violent corporal punishment against his own daughter instead of delivering his message to her.

The teenage girl was killed by her father and so was killed her dream of becoming a lawyer.

It started in October 2010 when Moussa Sidimétold his 13-year-old daughter Nouténé who returned home from school to clean up the kitchen. When he did not like her job and heard the girl mumbling what he believed to be an insult, he slapped her twice. The girl fell on the kitchen floor and went into a coma. The father tried to revive her and called 911. She died 2 days later in hospital.

The pathologist testified that the slaps were not hard because they did not leave a trace on the girl’s cheeks, but they caused an artery in her head to rupture and so she suffered brain hemorrhage which led to her death.

The Defence asked for a suspended sentence and a probation.

The Crown was seeking a prison sentence.

The Court Judge applied his “vast discretionary power” in delivering the sentence as given by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2010 in manslaughter cases where there are special circumstances. In the cases where parents are convicted of killing their children and which involve mitigating factors, the sentences applied range from suspended sentence to four years in prison.

The Judge considered the accused old age, good reputation and remorse in mitigating the sentence.


By: Seyada Mahmoud

About the Author

Paralegal Student
Communications Students.

8 Comments on "A Quebec man convicted of manslaughter of his daughter gets 60 days in jail."

  1. So, who ended up cleaning the kitchen? Not the dad, I’m going to guess.

  2. Nicole Salemi | June 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm |

    I do not agree with the judges sentencing decision in this case whatsoever. Not only do I not believe in corporal punishment, this father knew what he was doing — twice. I think that one slap would have got the message across, and possibly wouldn’t have killed her. Regardless of whether the slap left marks or not, it is still considered assault. I do believe in the discretion that judges hold when making sentencing decisions for manslaughter cases, however 2 months of punishment does not compare to the life that he took away from his daughter because she talked back to him.

  3. Sajal Chowdhury | June 6, 2014 at 12:55 am |

    Judge applied his own discretionary power

    By Paralegal student

    In criminal case, crown has to prove mens rea of accused father that he has a guilty mind and intentionally and willingly he made the wrongful offence beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case father Moussa Sidime had plead guilty for the death of his daughter and crown had proved the causation. Because father slapped his 13 years daughter so hardly that caused the death of her.

    However, in this manslaughter case we expected for fathers’ long term prison sentence. But judge applied his own discretionary power, considered accused’s age, reputation in his community and precedent of Supreme Court decision then Judge sentenced him 60 days jail.

    Sajal Chowdhury

  4. Rashida Forbes | June 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm |

    I grew up in a society where corporal punishment or as it is commonly called in the Caribbean “spanking or beating” is the norm. However, never in my years I have ever heard or seen a parent’s disciplinary tactic caused bodily harm, much less the death of their child.

    I personally do not oppose spanking. I believe in Proverbs 13:24, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” This biblical saying means you should CAREFULLY disciple your child because in doing so shows you love and care about him/her. Failing to disciple your child is equivalent to not caring enough about your child’s well-being.
    The key word in the proverbs is careful. Did this father apply too much force? Was it truly necessary to slap her across her face because she like everyone other teenager mumbled under her breath? I believe when using corporal punishment parents should be cautious and it should be necessary. He could have simply told the child not disrespect him by taking back.

    All in all, 60 days is outrageous! After all, murder, whether one intended to end a life or not, is a heinous crime, especially in these circumstances where it could have been avoided. I understand the father is elderly, and will have to live with his conscience for the rest of his life, but I do believe that harsher punitive punishment is necessary; not only to deter him but to make it clear to society that such actions are punishable by law.

  5. Shannon O'Connor | June 7, 2014 at 10:56 pm |

    I believe the sixty-day sentence sends the wrong message to the greater society. What’s to say the defendant won’t assault another family member in the future. Corporal punishment is not the norm within North American society and is frowned upon. The father could have implemented another form of discipline. For example, the father could have resorted to grounding the daughter or taking away her privileges. It is never necessary nor justifiable to physically harm another human being. Parents have the responsibility to protect their children not harm them. Violence is never the answer.

  6. Hilary Bowser | June 8, 2014 at 10:25 am |

    Allowing someone who physically assaulted and killed a child to serve only 60 days in prison is appalling. It should also be considered that this was an ongoing event for this child and he is only being mildly punished because she died from her injuries. The impression that this case will make on how people around the world view Canada will be very negative, and that is not something that I, as a proud Canadian want to see happen.

  7. Stephanie Hannah | June 8, 2014 at 2:47 pm |

    I definitely have to agree with the commentary noted above. I think the 60 day prison sentence does not serve justice properly. While the mitigating factors may serve as rationale for a lesser sentence, I still believe 60 days to be too little. Much in tune with the changing society, I believe that corporal punishment is only one of many options in terms of disciplining children. In this particular circumstance, I believe it would have been more appropriate to discipline the child by other means for such a minor infraction. While the severity of the incident may not have been intended, death nonetheless should not be taken lightly, especially one that could have been avoided easily.

  8. Amber McVittie-Quinn | June 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm |

    I feel like this article really highlights some of the flaws within our justice system as well as the gray areas that exist in law. This is clearly a sad case in which a young life ended too quickly and there is most definitely a need for her father to face the consequences for his actions. I think the judge’s sentence for this man seems extremely light but I don’t necessarily know what would be an appropriate sentence in this circumstance either. I do not believe the father intended for his daughter to die and it is important to understand that there are many different customs when it comes to parenting methods and many of those are not exactly universally accepted. Although I believe the father over reacted when he hit is daughter I feel as though there is an element of punishment in the fact that he lost his daughter because of no one else’s mistake but his own.

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