Frenchman given 4 months in jail for slapping Macron
VALENCE, FRANCE: A court on Thursday sentenced to four months in prison a man who slapped President Emmanuel Macron across the face after being angered by what he said was the French leader s “friendly and mendacious” look.
Damien Tarel, a 28-year-old mediaeval history enthusiast, was handed a prison term of 18 months, 14 of which were suspended, after slapping Macron on Tuesday.
He has been in custody since the assault, which a prosecutor at the hearing called “absolutely unacceptable” and “an act of deliberate violence”.
Tarel was placed under arrest following the verdict from the court in the southern city of Valence and will spend the night in jail as he begins his sentence.
In its verdict, the court followed a recommendation from prosecutors for an 18-month sentence, but said he should serve only four, after a fast-track hearing.
Tarel, who had risked a maximum three-year jail sentence and a fine of 45,000 euros ($55,000), had waived his right to a full-blown trial.
The long-haired history buff and board games enthusiast told investigators that he “acted instinctively and without thinking” after waiting for Macron outside a school in the village of Tain-l Hermitage.
In court, he expressed sympathy for the anti-government “yellow vest” movement and said that he and two friends had considered throwing an egg or a cream pie at the head of state during his visit to the Drome region, according to the BFM news channel.