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French psychiatrist sentenced to prison after patient commits murder

A French psychiatrist was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to one year in prison after her patient killed a man with an axe.

A court ruled Daniele Canarelli had committed "grave error" but failing to recognize her patient posed a threat to the public, Reuters reported.

Canarelli's patient killed an elderly man with an axe in 2004 20 days after fleeing a session with her at Marseilles's Edouard Toulouse hospital.

The court said Canarelli should have requested her patient be placed in a specialized medical unit or referred him to another medical team, according to Reuters.

"If a psychiatrist lives in fear of being sentenced it will have very real consequences and probably lead to harsher treatment of patiences," Sylvain Pontier, Canarelli's lawyer told Reuters.

The patient was not held responsible for the murder, and was freed under medical supervision.

Canarelli, 56, was also ordered to pay the victim’s family 8,500 euros Reuters reported.  

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