3 Mar 2012

Guilty verdict in witchcraft murder trial

9:43 am on 3 March 2012

A Congolese couple in England have been found guilty of murdering a teenage boy they accused of witchcraft.

Kristy Bamu, 15, was tortured and drowned in a bath on Christmas Day 2010 by his sister Magalie and her partner Eric Bikubi.

Eric Bikubi, 28, and Magalie Bamu, 29, of Newham, of east London, had denied the charge. They were remanded in custody to be sentenced on Monday.

The Old Bailey was told they believed he had cast spells on another child in the family.

They told police he was possessed evil spirits and his torture was part of a deliverance ceremony.

Kristy went to London with his two brothers and two sisters from their home in Paris to visit Magalie during the Christmas holiday.

But Bikubi turned on them, accusing them of bringing kindoki (voodoo) into his home.

He forced them to pray for deliverance for three days and nights and deprived them of food and water.

The sisters, aged 20 and 11, were also beaten, but escaped further attacks after confessing to being witches.

Another siblings, a boy aged 13, and an autistic brother aged 22, were made to join in the torture.

Kristy had 130 separate injuries and died from a combination of being beaten and drowning.