Spending Christmas with family can be agony, but for one teenage boy it turned into torture — quite literally.
15-year-old Kristy Bamu of Paris, France, was visiting his sister in her East London apartment in Hathaway Crescent for the holiday when the festivities turned to heated argument. Kristy’s brother-in-law Eric Bikubi, 23, accused him and his 20-year-old sister Kelly of “being witches or sorcerers” practicing kindoki (an African form of witchcraft popular in their native Democratic Republic of Congo) and being a bad influence on his young son because of it. Bikubi was joined by his girlfriend (and Kristy’s 28-year-old sister) Magalie Bamu as the accusations escalated into physical attacks. Kristy, Kelly, and their brother Yves, 22, were beaten and deprived of sleep, food, or drink for four days. The three brothers and sisters made repeated phone calls to their parents in Paris, but the father denied knowing exactly what was taking place. When asked by Kelly why she was allowing the ordeal to happen, Magalie told her that all of them “deserved it and that she had no pity for them.”
Before long, Kristy became the sole target; his other siblings were forced to participate in his vicious beatings. He was in so much pain from the attacks with a hammer, chisel, metal bar, and wooden sticks that family members said Kristy was “begging to die.” Bikubi ordered all three of them into the tub on Christmas Day where they were showered with ice cold water. It was only then that they realized Kristy wasn’t moving or breathing. Paramedics arrived on the scene, but could not resuscitate the young man. He was pronounced dead from his severe injuries and drowning at the scene.
The paramedics counted 101 separate injuries.
Both Eric Bikubi and Magalie Bamu were arrested. Magalie denied any involvement in the fatal beatings. Bikubi admitted to the assaults against the three siblings and agreed to a count of manslaughter “on the grounds of diminished responsibility,” but it was rejected by the prosecution. The trial is currently underway.