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Pair jailed for 'witch' boy murder
A couple have been jailed for life for torturing and drowning a teenage boy they accused of being a witch.
Kristy Bamu, 15, was killed by his sister Magalie, 29, and her partner, Eric Bikubi, 28.
He died in a bath at their tower block flat in Newham, east London, on Christmas Day 2010 after days of being abused. He had come to London from Paris with his two brothers and two sisters to spend the festive season with Magalie.
But things turned sour when the couple, who were said to be obsessed with witchcraft known as kindoki in their native Democratic Republic of Congo, accused him of putting spells on a younger child.
Football coach Bikubi and Magalie were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey last week. Bikubi was ordered to serve at least 30 years and Bamu a minimum of 25 years.
Judge David Paget told the couple the case was particularly serious and involved sadistic behaviour.
"It was prolonged torture involving metal and physical suffering being inflicted before death," he said.
He told Bikubi that he accepted that his mental damage may have made him more inclined to believe Kristy was a witch and a threat to the young child of the family.
But Judge Paget added: "The belief in witchcraft, however genuine, cannot excuse an assault to another person, let alone the killing of another human being."
He told Bamu he did not accept her denial of belief in witchcraft and that she was forced to attack Kristy by Bikubi. He told her: "It is only explicable if you shared Eric Bikubi's belief. It provides some explanation for what happened, but it does not excuse it."