PARIS (Dispatches) - A French court on Thursday sentenced a man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron across the face this week to a prison term of 18 months, 14 of which were suspended.
Damien Tarel, a 28-year-old medieval history enthusiast, has been in custody since the assault on Tuesday, which a prosecutor called “absolutely unacceptable” and “an act of deliberate violence”.
Tarel attacked Macron when the French president was shaking hands with members of the public during a walkabout in France’s Drome region.
Tarel said that several days ahead of Macron’s visit to the region, he had thought about throwing an egg or a cream tart at the president, but added the slap was not premeditated.
“I think that Macron represents very neatly the decay of our country,” he told the court, according to BFM TV.
“If I had challenged Macron to a duel at sunrise, I doubt he would have responded.”
Tarel faced a charge of assault against a public official, an offence that carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail and a 45,000-euro ($54,750) fine.