African couple in London guilty of 'witch' murder of boy

Ain't multiculturalism grand?

A LONDON soccer coach and his fiancee were found guilty overnight of the brutal murder of the woman's 15-year-old brother, who they believed was a witch.

Eric Bikubi and his partner Magalie Bamu, both 28, subjected Kristy Bamu to four days of torture until he drowned in their apartment in Manor Park, east London, on Christmas Day 2010, after suffering 101 different injuries.

The boy had travelled with his two brothers and two sisters from Paris to stay with Bikubi and Bamu, but the couple turned on Kristy, who was singled out after wetting his pants.

They became convinced the boy was possessed, and when the teenager refused to admit to sorcery and witchcraft his punishments in a "deliverance" ceremony became more horrendous.

He was tortured for days with knives, sticks, metal bars, and a hammer and chisel until he "begged to die". He drowned in the couple's bath during a final ritual of deliverance.

The killers both hail from the Democratic Republic of Congo where belief in witchcraft, or "kindoki", is particularly strong.

The Old Bailey jury was told there was an "armory of weapons" at the couple's home, including several knives, a metal bar, wooden poles, a pair of blood-stained pliers, a hammer, a chisel, broken ceramic tiles and a blood-stained mop.

The two sisters aged 20 and 11, were beaten along with Kristy, but escaped further attacks after "confessing" to being witches.

All four of Kristy's siblings, including a 13-year-old boy and an autistic brother aged 22, were starved and made to stay awake for four days by Bikubi and Bamu, who forced them to pray and join in the torture of their brother.

At one point, Bikubi told the youngsters to jump out of the couple's eighth floor window to see if they could fly, the court heard.

They looked to their older sister to save them, but she encouraged Bikubi and beat Kristy until he also confessed to witchcraft.

The defendants, who denied murder, were remanded in custody to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Judge David Paget told the jury of seven women and five men that the case was so "harrowing" he was exempting them from jury service for the rest of their lives.

A statement from Kristy's father, Pierre, was read outside court overnight.

He said, "Kristy died in unimaginable circumstances at the hands of people he loved and trusted, people we all loved and trusted. I feel betrayed. How could they accuse, judge and sentence? To know that Kristy's own sister, Magalie, did nothing to save him makes the pain that much worse".


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