Saturday 16 December 2017

Teen tortured and drowned because relatives thought he was a witch, court told

Shenai Raif and Margaret Davis

A TEENAGE boy was tortured and drowned on Christmas Day because a relative believed he was a witch, a court in London heard today.

Kristy Bamu, 15, was in such pain after days of being attacked with sticks, a metal bar, hammer and chisel that he begged to die, jurors heard.



His brother-in-law Eric Bikubi was joined by his partner, Kristy's sister Magalie, in the horror, said Brian Altman QC, prosecuting.



And his other siblings were forced to join in before they were all placed in the bath to be hosed down in cold water with a shower head by Bikubi on December 25, 2010.



"It was only when he realised that Kristy was not moving that he stopped what he was doing and pulled him from the water. By then it was too late," said Mr Altman.



Magalie Bamu and Bikubi, both 28, deny murdering Kristy.



Bamu also denies two charges of causing actual bodily harm to her sisters.



The youngsters had arrived from their home in Paris to spend the festive season with the couple.



Mr Altman said Kristy had 101 injuries and died from a combination of being beaten and drowning.



Paramedics tried to save him but he was already dead.



In the living room, police found Kristy's brothers and sisters - brothers Yves, 22, and a 13-year-old, and sisters Kelly, 20, and an 11-year-old.



"All were standing in the living room, hysterical, terrified and soaking wet. None of them spoke any English. Both girls appeared to be injured," said Mr Altman.



Kelly said their holiday turned sour when Bikubi accused Kristy, herself and their younger sister of "being witches or sorcerers - practising witchcraft - and adversely influencing his three-year-old son".



"Despite her own siblings' denials that they were sorcerers, Magdalie Bamu joined her boyfriend in repeating these fantastic claims and participating in the assaults," said Mr Altman.



"They beat the three of them, refusing to let them eat, drink or sleep for days while the punishments being meted out became increasingly violent, with them using many implements found in the flat as weapons of torture.



"However, it was Kristy who became the focus of Bikubi's attention and, in a desperate attempt to prevent any further suffering, he and his two sisters were eventually to admit to being sorcerers.



"Wickedly, the defendants also recruited sibling against sibling as vehicles for their violence.



"In a staggering act of depravity and cruelty, they both forced the others to take part in the assaults upon Kristy.



"The children had no option other than to do as they were told, or risk the same violence to themselves."



Mr Altman went on: "Bikubi made everyone in the flat pray and chant together all night long, but that did nothing to alleviate the children's plight.



"On the contrary, the defendants just continued the violence as before.



"As Kirsty's injuries became ever more severe he even pleaded to be allowed to die.



"Eventually Bikubi took him into the bathroom, put him in the bath and started to run the water.



"Kirsty was just too badly injured and exhausted to resist or to keep his head above the water. It is possible he was even unconscious.



"While Kristy succumbed to death, Bikubi put Yves, Kelly and the two other children into the bath with their brother and hosed them all down with cold water using a shower head."



Kristy had been found on the bathroom floor and Bamu said her brother had drowned himself in the bath, it was alleged.



His head and face were covered in deep cuts and bruising, his arms and back had cuts, and there were teeth missing or loose.



"Kristy had been the victim of a prolonged attack of unspeakable savagery and brutality," said Mr Altman.



Kelly had been asked by a French-speaking paramedic to explain her injuries as she stood in the blood-covered living room.



Mr Altman said: "What she told him was a tale of horror."



Kelly had pointed out a piece of wood with which, she said, Bikubi had hit her over the head, and a metal bar with which she was beaten.



She had also pointed to a hammer which he had used to hit Kristy in the mouth, the court heard.



A plastic bin bag contained broken ceramic floor tiles which she said had been used to hit Kristy over the head.



She said Bikubi had also jabbed Kristy with a knife. The "armoury of weapons" found also included a metal pole, other knives and pliers.



Several calls were made during their four-day ordeal to the children's parents in Paris, but their father had not realised what was happening.



"He had sent his children on holiday, not to a torture chamber," added Mr Altman.



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