Telegraph (London), March 5, 2012
Kristy Bamu, 15, was beaten and tortured over four days by his sister Magalie Bamu and her boyfriend Eric Bikubi, leaving the boy with more than 130 injuries.
Today at the Old Bailey the pair were jailed for life with Bikubi, who was “the main assailant”, jailed for a minimum of 30 years.
The ‘feral, wild and completely out of control’ pair believed in a twisted version of a Congolese religion and became convinced Kristy was possessed by an evil spirit and controlling another child in the family.
He was attacked with a haul of everyday household items including weightlifting bar, clawhammer, tiles, pliers, and pieces of wood.
The pair even attacked Kristy’s two sisters and forced them and his two other brothers to join in the beating and torturing.
Eventually the weakened schoolboy begged to die and slipped under the water of a bath after he and his siblings were all placed in it to be hosed down in cold water by Bikubi on Christmas Day in 2010.
Football coach Bikubi, 28, did not give evidence but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility claiming lesions on his brain suffered as a child left him schizophrenic.
His barrister Henry Grunwald QC said sentencing “had to balance the revulsion about what everyone felt about what happened” with what Bikubi’s had “in the forefront of his sick mind for the care and concern” of another child in the family.
Marks and Spencers shop worker Bamu, 29, claimed she had no “choice” but to do as Bikubi ordered and did not believe in witchcraft.
Her barrister Philippa McAtasney QC said: “She has in effect lost her entire family and she faces a solitary life of imprisonment.
“Magalie Bamu would never had committed any crime, let alone murder, if it was not for the influence and acts of Eric Bikubi.”
But Judge David Paget QC said: “I am aware of the controversy of the meaning of the word sadistic in this context.
“I am in no doubt this murder involved a sadistic element. The intention was to rid Kristy Bamu of witchcraft.
“To do that both defendants brutalised and physically abused him until eventually he died. It was prolonged torture.”
He added Bikubi’s “organic brain damage” may make him “more inclined” to believe in witchcraft but added: “However that may help to explain to some extent what you did.
“But a belief in witchcraft, however genuine, can never excuse an assault on another person or the killing of another human being.
“I find it impossible not to conclude that there was an intention by you Eric Bikubi, to kill, perhaps not at first but certainly at the end of the ordeal inflicted on Kristy.
“You Magalie Bamu must have realised that might happen, why else say to your mother ‘if you do not collect the children, Eric would kill Kristy.’“
The attacks started after Kristy was accused of being a child witch. He was beaten about the head and body with fists and a weightlifting bar until he collapsed bleeding and unconscious.
Undeterred the pair said this was an evil spirit leaving him and continued the murderous assault with a clawhammer knocking out Kristy’s teeth and smashing his fingers, feet, hands and thighs.
Bikubi even shoved the weightlifting bar down Kristy’s throat, broke ceramic tiles over his head and forced him to drink a child’s urine.
Ignoring the pleas from her own sisters and brothers to stop the onslaught, Bamu either sat watching or joined in at one point twisting her brother’s ears with a pair of pliers.
She then instructed her 21-year-old sister Kelly to do the same.
Kristy’s sisters and brothers even admitted they were witches in a failed bid to halt the attacks on the defenceless teen.
Kristy and his siblings had been starved, deprived of sleep and made to chant prays inside the locked blood splattered east London flat where they had been packed off by their parents in Paris to spend Christmas with the couple.
The twisted pair even phoned Kristy’s mum and dad on Christmas Day as the life ebbed from him telling them to come and collect him or else he would be killed.