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28th Jun 2021

French woman who killed her abusive husband won’t be jailed

Charlie Herbert

The mother said she was “afraid to die every day”

A French woman who killed her abusive husband will not face jail for the murder.

On Friday, a French courthouse sentenced 40-year-old Valérie Bacot to four years in prison, three of which are suspended. Bacot had already served one year in detention, meaning that she will not face any further jail time.

In 2016, the mother of four killed her husband Daniel Polette, who was also her step-father. In her best-selling novel Tout Le Monde Savait, Bacot said that she “shot him outside the French village of La Clayette and then buried him in the nearby woods with the help of two of their children.”

In her testimony to the court, Bacot was 12 when Polette coerced her into having sex with him.

Despite being jailed for the sexual assault, he then returned to the family home after being released and continued the abuse “while her mother turned a blind eye”.

She said: “He told my mother that he wouldn’t start again. But he did.”

According to the New York Times, Bacot told the court: “At first it was slaps, then kicks, punches and he would strangle me.” She said that she was “afraid to die every day”.

Bacot had four children with Polette, who was abusive and an alcoholic. He apparently forced Bacot into prostitution, and would never allow her to use contraception.

It was when he turned his attention to the couple’s 14-year-old daughter that Bacot decided that the abuse “has to stop.”

The New York Times reports that Bacot’s children told the court their mother had been forced into prostitution by her husband for 11 years. They learnt about her abuse when they found business cards their father had made with the words “escort girl” written on them.

Bacot admitted to the court that she killed her husband by shooting him in the back of the head, saying: “If I had not done it, my children would have.”