- Kristy Bamu’s sister Magalie, 29, and her partner Eric Bikubi spent three days torturing youngster
- Police found knives, sticks, metal bars and a hammer and chisel in squalid east London flat where Kristy died on Christmas Day 2010
- He was accused by the pair of taking part in kindoki – or African voodoo
- Scotland Yard has investigated 83 ritualistic or faith-based abuse cases in the last 10 years
Last updated at 11:18 PM on 1st March 2012
More than 80 children have suffered appalling abuse after being branded as witches in a crimewave fuelled by medieval beliefs imported from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
The scale of the problem – with many youngsters being beaten, starved and kept in cages – was revealed as a football coach was found guilty of torturing a boy to death.
Eric Bikubi, 28, faces life in prison after murdering 15-year-old Kristy Bamu in a four-day orgy of almost unimaginable violence.
WARNING: Graphic images below
Victim: Teenager Kristy Bamu, pictured left with a friend, suffered 130 injuries
Shocking: This was the squalid and bloodstained scene police were confronted by when they discovered the killing of Kristy Bamu by his sister and her partner in Newham, east London
Guilty: Magalie Bamu, left, and her partner Eric Bikubi, right, spent three days attack Kristy before he slipped under the water in a bath and died
Scene of the crime: Kristy was forced to pray for deliverance for three days and deprived of food and water
Eric Bikubi is facing a potential life sentence following the guilty verdict
Over the past decade, Scotland Yard has
recorded 83 cases of children suffering barbaric treatment, including
bizarre exorcism rituals. But detectives fear there may be hundreds of
other young victims.
Bikubi was in the grip of a lifetime obsession with kindoki, or
witchcraft, and believed he had special powers to detect evil.
girlfriend, former Marks Spencer worker Magalie Bamu, 29, the
victim’s eldest sister, was also convicted of murder at the Old Bailey.
Kristy suffered 130 injuries as he was attacked with weapons including a
metal bar, hammer, chisel, pliers and even heavy ceramic floor tiles.
He drowned in a bath on Christmas Day 2010 in front of his four
terrified siblings as Bikubi hosed them down with freezing water in an
abhorrent ‘cleansing’ ritual.
The murder took place just nine days after a woman disembowelled her
four-year-old daughter as a sacrifice because she believed the child was
Shayma Ali, who was later detained indefinitely in a mental hospital,
was obsessed with evil spirits and had removed all the eyes from the
little girl’s toys.
Both cases, which took place just a few miles apart in East London,
shocked detectives. They warned the number of cases linked to witchcraft
is growing but the beliefs behind them remain little understood.
In court: Kelly Bamu is pictured on the witness stand, giving evidence, as the the accused two listen on
Terrible death: Kristy Bamu was tortured for three days and forced to beg for forgiveness before he drowned in a bath
Officials suspect grotesque acts continue to thrive behind closed doors,
fuelled by a toxic combination of extreme evangelical Christianity and
In some of the most serious cases police suspect children may have been
sent to their native countries where they face torture, sexual abuse and
Scotland Yard is overhauling its specialist religious and cultural abuse
unit, Project Violet, to better focus on the dark practices.
officers are worried the abuse has slipped down the agenda since the
death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000 at the hands of her
aunt who branded her a witch.
Detective Superintendent Terry Sharpe said the crimes were almost
certainly ‘far more prevalent’ than official figures suggest.
‘Children have been physically beaten and forced to drink unknown
liquids in rituals to rid them of evil spirits. They have been starved
or deprived of sleep. They have had liquids poured on their genitals and
Kristy was killed as a Christmas trip with his two sisters and two
brothers, aged between 11 and 22, from their home in Paris, descended
into a nightmare.
The siblings stayed with Bikubi and Bamu at an eighth-floor council
flat in Forest Hill, East London, which the pair had recently moved
Violent evidence: This grisly scene greeted officers when they arrived at the scene
Witchcraft: These weapons were found at the scene in what officers called an ‘unprecedented scenario’
Evidence: Officers found a whole array of weapons in the flat, including pliers, a pole, and a piece of wood
The horror for the family began when Bikubi unleashed a prolonged attack
after Kristy wet himself, an act linked by some to witchcraft.
The heavily-built sportsman accused the teenager of trying to control
another child in the house and of orchestrating a series of unlucky
Four days of abuse: Items found in the flat had been used as ‘weapons of torture’
He punched, kicked and headbutted his victim before beating him with a
metal weight-lifting bar ‘as hard as he could’ and knocking out his
teeth with a hammer.
In one act of savage cruelty, as Kristy’s siblings
were hit, forced to join in and help clear the blood, Bamu ripped apart
one of his ears with a pair of pliers.
Five hours of desperate phone calls were made to Kristy’s parents in
Paris but at first they did not believe their children and were then
unable to travel because of the Christmas break.
On Christmas Day, with his face beaten to a barely recognisable pulp,
Kristy was thrown into a bath.
His last words were ‘I just want to die
now’ before slipping underneath the water. Bikubi, an unemployed failed
football agent, said his ‘battle against witchcraft’ began in earnest
when he travelled to Britain to escape civil war in his native Congo
aged seven or eight.
His defence team argued he was suffering a mental disorder, but an
expert told the court he was ‘calm, lucid and rational’ when he murdered
Speaking after the trial, the victim’s father said Bikubi
showed less compassion to his son than a butcher would show a cow in an
Mr Bamu said: ‘I had so much pain in my heart that I can’t
Bikubi and Bamu will be sentenced on Monday.
IMMIGRANTS IN THE GRIP OF ‘FERAL SUPERSTITION’
Christian fundamentalist pastors in Britain are fuelling the belief in witchcraft, experts warned yesterday.
Dr Richard Hoskins, a police adviser, said he has spoken to many immigrant Londoners gripped by the potential power of malicious ‘spirits’ threatening to damage their families.
Traditional methods of exorcism include wearing a charm, fasting or sacrificing an animal and are controlled by the Church.
The university lecturer warned that Christian extremists and evangelists have begun taking advantage of vulnerable families and perpetuating beliefs in witchcraft by offering expensive ‘deliverance services’.
Dr Hoskins said: ‘What seems to happen is that there is this dislocation and, in this case, something feral and wild. It is completely out of control.’
The issue was first highlighted by the case of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie in 2000. Victoria, who travelled to Britain from the Ivory Coast, died at the hands of her aunt and her boyfriend after being branded a witch.
A year later the torso of a Nigerian boy, named Adam by police, was found in the Thames after he was ritually sacrificed.
Police believe he may have been killed by someone with a terminal illness who believed his murder would save them.
In 2005, three people were convicted of beating, cutting and rubbing chilli peppers in the eyes of an eight-year-old Angolan girl to ‘beat the devil out of her’.