A woman who tortured her teenage brother to death after accusing him of witchcraft was jailed for life yesterday.
Magalie Bamu and her boyfriend Eric Bikubi inflicted more than 130 injuries on 15-year-old Kristy Bamu over the course of a horrific four-day attack.
Bamu, 29, a former Marks & Spencer worker, was told she will spend at least 25 years behind bars for the barbaric killing. Her boyfriend, 28, a former football coach, was jailed for at least 30 years after a jury heard that he had caused the teenager the most suffering.
Jailed: Eric Bikubi, left, and his partner Magalie Bamu, right, were both jailed for life today for the horrific torture of Magalie’s brother Kristy, which led to his death
Sentencing the Congolese pair at the Old Bailey, Judge David Paget QC said Bamu must have realised her sibling was going to die in an attack that ‘surpassed belief’.
He added: ‘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 of you brutalised and physically abused him until eventually he died. It was prolonged torture.
‘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”.’
After the convictions, Kristy’s father Pierre said: ‘Kristy was a delightful child with a promising future – we will miss him terribly.
‘The fact Kristy died at the hands of those who were expected to look after him and his siblings during their visit to London, makes it all the more difficult for us to come to terms with.’
Detective Superintendent Terry Sharpe, of the Metropolitan Police, warned that crimes linked with witchcraft remained ‘hidden and under-reported’.
WARNING: Graphic images below
Witchcraft: These weapons were found at the scene in what officers called an ‘unprecedented scenario’
Evidence: Officers found a whole array of weapons in the flat, including pliers, a pole, and a piece of wood
He added: ‘It is difficult to see how the verdicts will bring much comfort to the Bamu family but I do hope that it will allow them to move on with their lives.’
The court previously heard that Bamu and Bikubi, like many Congolese nationals, were obsessed with kindoki, or witchcraft.
The couple accused Kristy of trying to bewitch a child in the family after he arrived from Paris for Christmas 2010 with four of his siblings at their council flat in Newham, East London.
The pair beat him with a metal weightlifting pole, a curtain rod and a wooden plank, knocked out his teeth with a hammer and smashed heavy floor tiles over his head.
Meanwhile his siblings, aged between 11 and 22, were forced to fast and pray throughout the night and at some points goaded to join in and clear up the pools of blood.
Kristy drowned in the bath on Christmas Day after begging to die as Bikubi hosed him down to ‘cleanse’ him of evil spirits.
The sentences mark the end of a court case that has sparked calls for police to do more to tackle crimes fuelled by such medieval beliefs.
There have been at least 83 cases of children attacked in London for ‘sorcery’ over the past decade.