• France's news in English

Frenchwoman jailed for torturing boyfriend

AFP/The Local · 29 May 2015, 08:36

Published: 29 May 2015 08:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Zakia Medkour, 43, was also ordered to pay €200,000 ($217,000) in damages to her ex-boyfriend Maxime Gaget, 37, for crimes which the prosecution said went "beyond violence" with a "female torturer and a male victim".

The pair met in 2007 on the Internet and seven months later moved into a Parisian studio where Medkour lived with her two children.

The court heard how Medkour stole Gaget's identity papers and credit cards, forced him to sleep on the floor near the front door and prevented him from accessing the toilet.

For over a year he suffered beatings, insults, she burned him with cigarettes or a white-hot knife, threw salt into his eyes and blocked his contact with the outside world.

Medkour told him that if he rebelled, she would accuse him of paedophilia.

"In the beginning there were feelings and then fear and then shame," Gaget told the court.

"It is hard for a man to admit he is being beaten by a woman. I also stayed to protect the children."

Gaget in February published a book about his experiences called "My Girlfriend. My Torturer" which has helped lift the taboo about domestic abuse against men in France.

In the book, Gaget said he wanted to publicise the fact "that such atrocities exist, and are unfortunately not isolated issues."

An estimated 7,000 men file complaints about domestic abuse each year in France, according to the SOS Hommes Battus (Abused Men) association.

Many more are believed to be affected but too ashamed to come forward.

During the trial Medkour tearfully apologised to her former boyfriend, saying she was "not heartless".

Story continues below…

Her lawyers ascribed her behaviour to her troubled past: her father committed suicide when she was a child, she grew up in children's homes and became an alcoholic.

They also said she suffered from a bi-polar mental disorder.

As part of her sentence Medkour has to undergo psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation for her alcoholism.

Medkour's prison sentence, half of which is suspended, is considered "convertible" under French law, which means she could eventually escape jail time and perform community service, wear an electronic bracelet or be allowed to work part time.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available