image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionValérie Bacot (wearing a scarf) collapsed in court when the prosecutor said she should be given clemency

Valérie Bacot, a woman accused of murdering her violent husband, should be shown clemency and allowed to leave jail, a French court has heard.

On the final day of the trial, the prosecutor said Ms Bacot should be given a one-year jail term with an added four years suspended, which meant releasing her because of time served.

Ms Bacot said she was abused from the age of 12 by Daniel Polette, first as her stepfather and then as her husband.

She has admitted killing him.

More than 700,000 people have signed a petition calling for her release. She has spent a year on remand, French media say.

She collapsed in tears and fainted in court on Friday after the prosecuting lawyer said she should be allowed to leave court a free woman.

"A criminal court stands for civilised values – foremost among which is the protection of life. If people take justice into their own hands, then everybody is at war with everybody else," prosecutor Eric Jallet told the court in Chalon-sur-Saône.

Nevertheless, imprisoning Ms Bacot would not provide anyone any greater protection and the risk of her committing any crime was minimal.

The session was adjourned to allow the defendant to recover and her lawyer then told the court that she had killed her husband because she feared he would start abusing their daughter.

A case that struck a chord in France

Valérie Bacot's lawyers had earlier said she had been driven to kill her husband because of "the extreme violence that she suffered for 25 years and the fear that her daughter would be next".

Her case bears similarity to that of another French woman, Jacqueline Sauvage, who was jailed for shooting dead her abusive husband after 47 years of abuse. She received a presidential pardon after receiving a 10-year jail term.

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Polette, who was 25 years older than Ms Bacot, spent two and a half years in jail for assaulting her in the 1990s, but later returned to the family home and made her pregnant when she was 17.

image copyrightAFPimage captionThe case has galvanised the French public and a petition supporting Ms Bacot has attracted 700,000 signatures

Last month, a book about her life story was released in which she wrote that she was "afraid all the time" and "had to put an end to it". She told the court he had repeatedly threatened her with his pistol.

She has also described how her husband forced her to prostitute herself at his instruction for 14 years. Details emerged in court of how she was ordered to have sex with clients in the back of the family's Peugeot 806 minivan.

She admits shooting him dead with his gun after an incident involving a client in March 2016.

Summing up in court, her lawyer, Janine Bonaggiunta, told the court that other countries had different rules on marital violence. "When it has been established that the case involves an abused woman, she does not spend a day in prison. I would like us too to move forward with this."