Joel and Sergine Le Moaligou, who fed the 11-month-old child on nothing but breast milk were accused of "neglect or food deprivation" after ignoring their doctor and seeking advice in a 35-year-old book on alternative medicine.

A judge sentenced both to five years in jail. However, they escaped prison after part of the sentence was suspended and the time they had served in custody was taken into account.

State attorney, Anne-Laure Sandretto, had called for a 10-year sentence against the couple who were convinced they could cure their daughter's pneumonia with traditional remedies. She also suggested the mother's vegan diet could have contributed to the death of the child, though this was argued over by experts giving evidence in the case.

"We are not here to judge their alternative life style but to decide if this man and this woman have shown a lack of care and caused the death of their child," said Sandretto.