When a Malian illegal immigrant rescued a child dangling from a Paris balcony, he was hailed worldwide as a hero – but the little boy’s father appeared in court Tuesday charged with negligence.

Mamoudou Gassama, the migrant nicknamed “Spiderman” after footage of his daring rescue went viral in May, has since been rewarded with French citizenship and a job in the fire service.

But the four-year-old’s father, who has not been named, faces a potential criminal conviction for leaving the child unattended in their 6th-floor apartment, popping out to buy groceries.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said at the time of the incident that the father also delayed his return because he wanted to play the popular Pokemon Go game on his phone.

The man’s lawyer Romain Ruiz said prosecutors had taken “particularly reductive” elements of the story out of context, but added that the 37-year-old father admitted he had “done something really stupid”.

“He is leaving his fate up to the court,” Ruiz said.

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