"Had I known a smack could kill, I wouldn't have even considered it," admitted Moussa Sidimé - the 74-year-old who pled guilty of manslaughter after killing his daughter.
Pre-sentencing arguments were held Tuesday before Judge Richard Marleau at the Longueuil court house.
"My father has never exhibited any malice or any ill will words anyone," said his daughter Odilla. "He has always been there to council, he has always been well respected for his kindness and wisdom."
Everyone who testified, including a criminologist, spoke of the man's gentleness and compassion.
A pathologist report said 13-year-old Noutene Sidimé died of a ruptured artery in her neck, likely caused by the man's slap after she did not clean the kitchen to his liking.
There were no marks of violence to the girl's body.
After Sidimé slapped his daughter, he left the kitchen and returned to the living room. That's when he heard an usual sound, and returned to the kitchen to find her lying on the floor.
He immediately called 9-1-1, and told the ambulance technicians that he slapped her moments before she collapsed.
He was then arrested and detained for 19 days.
"He was surprised to be detained because he never believed he was a criminal," criminologist Louise Bellefeuille told the judge during hearings Tuesday. "He was defeated. He never had the intent to kill his daughter."
Sidimé was surrounded by his children, family members and friends, taking up nearly half the court room.
Many wept as brothers and sisters spoke of how much they miss their sister.
All pleaded the judge not to incarcerate the 74-year-old, saying they've already lost one family member, they don't want to lose a second.
"I am not violent, I am not violent. I am not violent in my soul, my heart, towards my wife," Sidimé told the judge, unable to withhold tears. "I lost my daughter, everyone is suffering."