French singer Bertrand Cantat pleads to leave prison early

Noir Desir singer hopes to be freed after manslaughter conviction

Bertrand Cantat, frontman of the French rock band Noir Desir, has asked to be released from jail early this week (September 21).

A judge in charge of sentence enforcement is currently considering his request.

In March 2004, the singer was given an eight-year prison sentence after accidentally killing his girlfriend, the actress Marie Trintignant, in July 2003.

The singer beat his girlfriend during a row at the Domina Plaza Hotel in Vilnius, Lithuania, after which she fell into a coma before dying a few days later.

The singer’s friends however maintained he was out of his mind and had not intended to cause harm, and he was sentenced to eight years in prision for unintentional manslaughter.

As half of his prison term has now elapsed, under French law he can now be granted parole.

Cantat’s behaviour in Muret Prison, near Toulouse, has been declared “exemplary” by the officials, reports Le Monde.

His rehabilitation as a musician should also be aided after Noir Desir signed a new record deal with label Barclay.

“I don’t think we can present a better case,” said Olivier Metzner, Cantat’s lawyer, of the singer’s chance of release.

However, Nadine Trintignant, Marie’s mother, has declared that any release would be “too soon”.

“I fear that his release, which is too premature, would be taken offensively by anybody who is fighting over the impartial punishment of assaults of women,” she declared in a letter sent to the judge.

The judge’s decision will be announced on October 15.