London

Witch torture trial: Sister describes brother's beating

Kristy Bamu
Image caption Kristy Bamu suffered 101 injuries and was found dead in a bath

The sister of a boy tortured to death for being a "witch" wept in court as she told how her brother was beaten with a stick, hammer and iron bar.

Kristy Bamu, 15, from Paris, was found dead in a bath in a flat in Newham, east London, on Christmas Day in 2010.

His sister Magalie Bamu and her boyfriend, Eric Bikubi, both 28 and living in Newham, deny the murder.

Kelly Bamu, 21, said her sister Magalie Bamu "deserves to die" for doing nothing as Mr Bikubi beat Kristy.

The defendants also deny assaulting Kelly Bamu and a sibling.

Prosecutors have told jurors of acts they described as "depraved", "wicked" and "cruel".

Kristy and his four siblings had come to London from Paris to spend Christmas with the couple, when they were beaten and terrorised for four days, the Old Bailey heard.

'Obsessed by witchcraft'

Kristy became the focus of the attack and was hit with an "armoury of weapons", including sticks, pliers, a metal bar, hammer and chisel. He suffered 101 injuries.

Giving evidence through an interpreter, Kelly Bamu said there had been a "nice atmosphere" at first but the defendants began talking about kindoki, the African term for witchcraft, and she and Kristy were accused of being "witches".

She said: "It was as if they were obsessed by witchcraft and then it became absolutely unbearable.

"I did not know what was going on in their minds. They decided we had come there to kill them."

Miss Bamu said she and Kristy were made to fast and pray all night but then Mr Bikubi allegedly said he would use a stick to get them to tell the truth.

She said: "He began to hit Kristy while my sister was watching and didn't do anything.

"I begged him: 'We didn't do anything, we are innocent'. She didn't argue at all. She was just sitting there as a spectator.

"He hit and hit Kristy. He was not feeling well, He was having trouble breathing and he fell over.

"As far as Eric and Magalie were concerned, that was the kindoki coming out of him."

Miss Bamu said her brother suffered over 200 blows and as Mr Bikubi hit the boy with a hammer and an iron bar, Magalie Bamu also joined in with a stick.

"Kristy asked for forgiveness. He asked again and again.

"Magalie did absolutely nothing. She didn't lift a finger and she was convinced that we did bad things," Kelly Bamu said.

Image caption Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu deny murder

Addressing her sister in the dock Miss Bamu said: "You are an idiot.

"I am sure she still believes, even to this day, that we are witches."

She added: "Magalie deserves to die for what they have done.

"I have no pity for her. She had no pity for us."

Miss Bamu said in the run up to Kristy's death she had heard a commotion in the kitchen, like "plates falling", and, when she inquired, Magalie Bamu told her that Kristy had wet his pants and had tried to hide them in the kitchen.

Mr Bikubi has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, a plea not accepted by the prosecution. He has also admitted assaulting Kristy's siblings.

Magalie Bamu denies the murder, as well as two charges of causing actual bodily harm to her other siblings.

The case continues.

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