Paris wine merchant Marc Sibard receives a one-year suspended sentence

Mardi 18 juillet 2017 par Vitisphere

Paris wine merchant Marc Sibard receives a one-year suspended sentence

Emma Bentley’s voice on the telephone is one of unmistakable relief and a feeling that the damage she suffered has been recognised. She is one of the three plaintiffs who were brave enough to denounce the conduct of Marc Sibard, the wine merchant who runs Paris-based Caves Augé, belonging to the Lavinia group. On July 6, Sibard received a one-year suspended prison sentence from the Paris district court along with a probationary period of 2 years. The ruling included mandatory treatment for alcoholism, compensation for the claimants totalling 24,000 euros excluding legal fees, and payment of a 5,000-euro fine. The prison sentence will apply for the next five years in the event that he reoffends. The ruling is much harsher than the public prosecutor had asked for which was a three-month suspended sentence and a 10,000-euro fine.

Relief for the victims

The petitions of the three victims who claimed to have suffered moral and sexual harassment have therefore been recognised. For their solicitor, Laure Tric, “This is a good ruling. It is quite uncommon to see moral and sexual harassment recognised as a criminal case. It shows that even in the wine world, the same rules apply as everywhere else”. Tric was referring to part of Marc Sibard’s defence argument whereby he claimed that the wine world was conducive to coarse, ribald behaviour and language.

Marc Sibard’s solicitor, who was contacted by Vitisphere, turned down requests for comments and did not specify whether her client would appeal. The wine merchant has ten days to reach a decision. 

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