A 40-year-old Frenchwoman, Valerie Bacot, who admitted to killing her abusive husband, fainted with shock and relief when a court set her free on Friday.
The prosecution had asked for a sentence of five years in prison for Bacot over the murder of her husband, but four years of the term were suspended, meaning that she is practically a free woman after she had spent one year in detention, her lawyer, Nathalie Tomasini, explained to French media after the hearing.
“Because she was in detention for a year, she would not be going back if the jury and the court follow the opinion of the prosecution,” the lawyer said.
Bacot had admitted to shooting her husband, Daniel Polette, to death in 2016.
She had previously referred to him as her stepfather before they got married.
While testifying, Bacot said Polette had started raping her when she was only 12. According to her, at that time, Pollete was her mother’s boyfriend, and later became Bacot’s husband and father of their four children.
While she was in detention, Bacot wrote a bestseller, “Tout Le Monde Saviat” *Everyone Knew), in which she said Polette, who was 25 years her senior, first raped her when she was 12 years old, impregnated her at 17 and went on to abuse her over the course of 18 years.
“I simply wanted to protect myself. Protect my life, the life of my children. In my eyes, nothing else ever mattered,” she wrote in the autobiography.
She argued that killing Polette was the only way to protect herself and her children from a man who had made her life “hell” from the time he first raped her until she shot him dead in 2016.
“I am not only a victim. I killed him; it is only normal that I should be punished. But if my sentence is heavy, that will mean to me that he had the right to behave the way he behaved with me,” Bacot wrote.
By Isaac Dachen
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