MONTREAL — A 13-year-old girl whose beating death led to the arrest of her 71-year-old father had enraged him by refusing to say her prayers, according to neighbours.
Noutene Sidime died Saturday evening in suburban Longueuil, Que., three days after she was rushed to hospital unconscious and bleeding from her nose.
Her father, Moussa Sidime, had called 911 last Wednesday. Sidime was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, but the charges could be upgraded, police said.
The father will remain behind bars until autopsy results are released, at which time the Crown will decide whether Sidime played a role in his daughter’s death.
Neighbours said Noutene was a polite girl who was often unable to please her elderly father.
Others who live in the apartment building south of Montreal said the girl sometimes neglected to say daily prayers, which infuriated him.
“(He) was mean,” said Karine Girard, who lives on the street. “I’ve seen him grab her by the arm because she wouldn’t go up to say her prayers.”
Relatives told QMI Agency they believe the girl’s death was an accident.
There were tears and tributes at Sidime’s high school Tuesday as students returning from the long weekend gathered by the hundreds in the schoolyard. They released balloons and remembered a happy girl who was once honoured as the coolest student in her class.
“We wanted to praise her, to talk about what she meant (to us),” said one schoolmate. “She was a good girl and we were like sisters.”
A Facebook page devoted to Sidime’s memory featured a smiling photo of the braided, bespectacled girl. The page is entitled: “I’ll never forget you…”