Murder trial begins for Valerie Bacot over killing of abusive stepfather-turned-husband

Bacot in the tan scarf on the first day of her trial
Bacot in the tan scarf on the first day of her trial Photo credit: GETTY

A French woman has gone on trial for murder after admitting to killing her abusive stepfather-turned-husband.

Valerie Bacot, 40, faces a life sentence over the 2016 killing of Daniel Polette in France. She wrote the bestselling book Tout Le Monde Savait (Everyone Knew) about her abuse-filled life that started at a young age.

Bacot claims she was first attacked by Polette as a 12-year-old when he was dating her alcoholic mother.

Polette was convicted of rape of a minor​ and spent two-and-a-half years in prison, Bacot’s lawyer Nathalie Tomasini told CNN.

Bacot says after Polette was released he began abusing her again and she fell pregnant when she was 17.

Bacot wrote in her book that in response to the pregnancy, her mother forced her to go live with Polette, with whom she had another three children over the next 18 years.

She says her life was filled with extreme violence and beatings and claims Polette forced her to prostitute herself and threatened to kill her and her children if they left.

Bacot says her children contacted police twice throughout the years but were brushed off, with officers telling them that their mother needed to come to the station herself. 

In March 2016, Polette questioned their 14-year-old daughter's sexuality, leading Bacot to fear he would start prostituting their teenager out as well.

Soon after Bacot says Potlette forced her to prostitute for a violent client.

Bacot then took a revolver she knew her husband kept in the car and shot him once from behind in the back of the neck. 

Her two oldest sons and daughter's boyfriend helped bury the body, with the boyfriend confessing to police what happened in 2017.

Her lawyers said ahead of the trial "the extreme violence that she suffered and the fear that her daughter would be next pushed her to kill Polette", the Daily Mail reports.

The trial got underway in the French city of Chalon-sur-Saône on Monday.