Police Warn Children Are At Risk Over Return of the Witch-FindersChildren in Britain are increasingly at risk of being branded as witches and tortured, police are claiming, following the high-profile case of Kristy Bamu – tortured and murdered by his brother for being a kindoki witch.
The threat comes from the rise of the West African belief, which states children can be possessed by evil spirits, according to a specialist unit set up to investigate witchcraft.
It is thought to be widespread among some immigrant communities, fuelled by a growing number of small fundamentalist Christian churches.
The belief is not confined to the poor or ill-educated and many cases of children being abused may never be uncovered, the officers fear.
Det Supt Terry Sharpe, leader of specialist witchcraft unit Project Violet, said: "We know this is an under-reported crime and a hidden crime."
The warning came after a London couple were convicted yesterday of torturing a 15-year-old boy to death because they were convinced he was possessed by evil spirits.
Murderer Eric Bikubi – who with his partner, Magelai Bamu, subjected her younger brother, Kristy, to four days of torment before drowning him – was obsessed with kindoki.
Kristy, 15, was attacked with a hammer, knife, and pliers before being drowned in a bath after he begged to be allowed to die.
Kristy and his four other siblings were staying with the couple at their east London flat over Christmas 2010. But when Kristy wet himself, Bikubi – described as "feral and out of control" – took it as a sign he was possessed by evil spirits.
The boy was beaten for four days before he was killed.
The couple even forced his brothers and sisters to join in the "staggering act of depravity and cruelty."
At one point, Bamu, 29, twisted her brother’s ears with a pair of pliers before ordering her 21-year-old sister, Kelly, to do the same. Kristy suffered 130 injuries; a metal screw, which he was forced to eat, was found in his bowel.
The boy’s parents, Pierre and Jacqueline, who live in Paris, yesterday said they took "no comfort" from the guilty verdicts.
But a family statement read: "To know that Magalie did nothing to save him makes the pain that much worse. We are still unaware of the full extent of the brutality – we cannot bring ourselves to hear it."
In a phone call on Christmas Day, Bamu told her father: "Dad, you’ve got to pick up the children – they’re witches, and you’re a witch, too."
Kristy’s younger brother, then 13, told the Old Bailey he and his older brother Yves, 22, were forced to join Bikubi as he broke tiles over Kristy’s head.
His teeth were also smashed and his finger broken with a claw hammer.
It was one of 83 witchcraft cases Project Violet has investigated in London in the past ten years
Expert Dr Richard Hoskins said kindoki was widespread in the country where Bamu and Bikubi were born. He added: "Kindoki remains a force that is feared by lots of people over here, even here in London."
Story and image source.