Father of slain 7-year-old Quebec girl gets bail pending his trial

GRANBY, Que. — The father of a slain 7-year-old Quebec girl at the centre of an alleged case of neglect has been granted bail by a judge.

The evidence heard at his bail hearing today was under a publication ban, but at its conclusion a Quebec Superior Court justice agreed the 30-year-old man should be freed pending the outcome of his case.

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The girl was found in critical condition in her family home in Granby, about 80 kilometres east of Montreal, on April 29 and died a day later in hospital.

The young girl's father faces four charges: criminal negligence causing death, unlawful confinement, failing to provide the necessities of life, and child abandonment.

The victim's stepmother faces one count of second-degree murder, unlawful confinement and aggravated assault.

The young victim's death sparked outrage in the community and raised questions about the effectiveness of the province's youth protection system, triggering a number of probes ordered by the Quebec government.

The man was released on several conditions, and defence lawyer Martin Latour told reporters at the courthouse he was satisfied the presumption of innocence was respected.

Latour says his client was relieved to obtain his release after more than four months in detention.

Crown prosecutor Claude Robitaille, who had opposed bail for the accused, said he was disappointed but respects the decision of the court.

He was satisfied with the conditions — including living at a specific address, respecting a curfew, reporting to police weekly, abstaining from consuming alcohol or drugs and not possessing any weapons.

The man's case will be back before the court on Oct. 28.

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