'Bath torture boy begged to die'
A teenage boy was tortured and drowned on Christmas Day because a relative believed he was a witch, the Old Bailey has heard.
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 were told.
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, of Hathaway Crescent, Newham, east London, deny murdering Kristy. Bamu also denies two charges of causing actual bodily harm to her sisters. Mr Altman said Bikubi has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but this was rejected by the prosecution who say the couple carried out "the very deliberate murder" of Kristy. Bikubi had also admitted the assaults on the two 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. Kelly said their holiday turned sour when Bikubi accused Kristy, herself and their younger sister of "being witches or sorcerers - practising witchcraft".
"Despite her own siblings' denials that they were sorcerers, Magalie 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."
The jury was told that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the defendants are originally from, witchcraft or sorcery, called kindoki, is practised in Christian churches, but if it is taken out of the church's control "it may take on a feral and indeed evil character, as we suggest it did here", Mr Altman said.