A man, used to detention on violent charges, has been charged with first degree murder of his ex-partner, in what is believed to be 8e feminicide of the year. A situation that requires a review of probation services, according to domestic violence organizations.
Updated on September 9
It is alleged that Hosea Puhya stabbed Gisèle Itale Betondi, the mother of his three children, to death last Thursday in the parking lot of a residential building in the borough of LaSalle. The 50-year-old was charged with first-degree murder at the Montreal courthouse on Friday afternoon.
He has already spent several months in prison in connection with charges of violent crimes, especially against his ex-partner. Four criminal files have already been registered in his name in a Montreal court. However, some led to acquittals.
In December 2021, Hosea Puhya was accused of threatening to kill or cause bodily harm against Gisèle Itale Betondi, indicate court documents consulted by The Press. The man was acquitted in June. However, he was detained for several months during the judicial process.
In February, he was charged with assault and robbery against another woman. His trial will be held on 1er next November. The man also allegedly violated the conditions under which he was charged and jailed in January. He challenged his imprisonment on appeal to the Superior Court, which agreed to release him on August 12 ahead of his trial, which will take place about three weeks later.
The case is “very disturbing” because Hosea Puhya is known to the judicial system, described Louise Riendeau, spokeswoman for the Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victims de violence conjugale. “Have we analyzed the risks this man poses for this woman and her children? he asked himself.
In Quebec, for some years, it is possible that at the time of release, the probation services will evaluate the spouses to see if it is a good idea to release them and under what conditions. The method is not systematic. The Crown must request it and the defense must agree.
According to Louise Riendeau, judges should have the power to impose these assessments. “There are spouses who do not respect the limitations imposed on victims and the justice system. We have to check who we are dealing with,” he said.
8e suspected femicide of the year
Thursday morning, the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) received a call reporting a person injured in a stabbing in the borough of LaSalle, at the intersection of Oblats and Wanklyn streets. Gisèle Itale Betondi was found unconscious and in critical condition by the authorities, said Caroline Chèvrefils, spokeswoman for the SPVM. The 29-year-old mother died of her injuries at a Montreal hospital.
It is said that Hosea Puhya stabbed the mother of his three children, then ran away before the police arrived. On Thursday night, officers arrested him for murder. He has been detained until October with a ban on communicating with his children, pending legal proceedings.
It will be 8e femicide in the province this year. Quebec recognized 21 in 2020, a record number. “Eight feminicides are a lot in just half a year,” said Louise Riendeau. Every year, there are usually ten feminicides, he added.
If an offender does not respect the limitations imposed on him during his release, the victim must be informed that he can file a complaint, that the authorities will act and that the person will be brought back to court quickly, insisted Louise Riendeau.
Women are sometimes reluctant to cooperate with justice, fearing that their partner’s situation will worsen, she explained. “Relatives can help, but special sources can sometimes better inform and support victims. However, Gisèle Itale Betondi has complained to the police and has been living with her three children with a friend for the past few months , relatives told Radio-Canada.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Alliance of Shelters of 2e step for women and children who are victims of domestic violence is asking politicians to make domestic violence a central issue in the election campaign.
“The gaps in the analysis of the danger of the spouse during the release and the implementation of the same protection mechanism such as the anti-reconciliation bracelet failed Mrs. Betondi”, can we read.