Kristy Bamu
- December 25, 2010

Kristy Bamu and his siblings were sent from Paris, to London, to visit their sister for Christmas. Kristy was age 15 and his siblings ranged in age from 11 to 22. Magalie Bamu, who was 29 years old at the time and her boyfriend Eric Bikubi, who was 28 at the time, would come to believe that Kristy was a witch and that lie would cost Kristy his life.

Before his torture was over, Kristy is said to have begged for his sister and Eric to allow him to die. Kristy had over 130 injuries to his body which were inflicted because the couple felt he had cast a spell on one of the other
children. Originally from a place in the Congo where witchcraft known as Kindoki is practiced, Magalie and Eric
were convinced that Kristy was a witch and they broke his teeth with a hammer, used metal poles to beat on him,
pliers ripped his ear and heavy ceramic tiles were dropped on his head. Forced to join in on the torture were two of his siblings who were also being abused and afraid they would face worse if they did not obey what they were being told to do.

For three days the children were told they had to pray for deliverance for the accusation that they had brought
voodoo into Eric's home. During that time, none of them was allowed any food or water at all. Kristy's sisters would eventually admit to being witches to avoid being beaten or abused. Kristy had wet himself and then he became the target of Eric's rage. Two brothers were also forced to join in on the torture, including one who was

When the torture was over, all of the siblings were put into the bath tub and Eric began to hose them off with cold
water. When he saw that Kristy was no longer moving, he stopped and pulled him from the tub, at that point, it was too late to save him:

"It was only when he realized that Kristy was not moving that Eric Bikubi stopped what he was
doing and pulled him from the water.
Brian Altman QC Prosecutor

Paramedics tried to save Kristy, they were not successful they found Kristy's siblings as well:

"All were standing in the living room, hysterical, terrified and soaking wet. In a staggering act of
depravity and cruelty, they both forced the others to take part in the assaults upon Kristy. The
children had no option other than to do as they were told or, or risk the same violence to them-
selves. As Kristy's injuries became ever more severe, he even pleaded to be allowed to die.
Eventually Bikubi took him into the bathroom, put him in the bath and started to run the water.
Kristy was just too badly injured and exhausted to resist or to keep his head above the water.
Kristy had been the victim of a prolonged attack of unspeakable savagery and brutality. Kristy
was killed in the name of witchcraft. It is hard to believe in this day and age anyone could believe
someone was practicing witchcraft"
Brian Altman

During their days at the home of their sister, there were calls made home, though nothing was mentioned about
what they were going through, to their parents.

In court, Eric said that he had told Pierre Bamu, Kristy's father, that he needed to come and get his son because he was a witch and if he did not come and get him, he was going to kill him. Pierre said he didn't think that Eric would harm his son because he was a kind man and even called him dad:

"The Eric that I see over there and the Eric that I knew then, it's the same difference as night and day.
He was a well respected lad and he never called me by my first name, he called me dad"

Pierre said that he had spoken to Magalie and Eric on Christmas day:

"Dad, you've go to pick up the children because they're witches and you're a witch too"

"You've got to come and pick up the children, you've got to pick up Kristy because he's a
witch and he's practicing witchcraft on another child of the family. If you don't, I'm going to
kill him"

"When he said that, I wanted to say something to him, then straight after that I heard Kristy's
voice. Kristy was talking in a calm voice. He wasn't crying. He just spoke to me in a voice like
we're using now. "Dad, come and get me, otherwise, Eric will kill me", and then the went was
cut off. When Eric said that, knowing Eric as I do I said "It's not going to come to that because
he's a nice person, a really nice person"

In court Magalie's sister was crying and talked of how they had wanted her to help them and she would not do it:

"They started talking about kindoki, witchcraft and this and that. It was as if they were obsessed
by witchcraft and then it became absolutely unbearable. They asked if we were witches. I repeated
again and again that we were not witches. I did not know what was going on in their minds. They
decided we had come there to kill them. Kristy asked for forgiveness again and again. Magalie
did absolutely nothing. She didn't give a damn. She said we deserved it. I am sure she still believes
even to this day that we are witches. I have no pity for her. She had no pity for us"

Eric Bikubi would not admit to murder, though he did admit to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished
responsibility from what he said was brain damage, this was not accepted by the court. Eric plead guilty to two
counts of causing actual bodily harm to the two sisters though Magalie denied the assaults:

"It's an unprecedented scenario where siblings are murdering another sibling. The family have
been very positive, they've pulled together remarkably well. They were more than willing to give
evidence and make sure the perpetrators were dealt with appropriately"
Detective Inspector - Paul Maddock

For what they did to Kristy, Judge David Paget sentenced Eric and Magalie to life in prison, which in the end was
to be a minimum sentence of 30 years for Eric and a minimum of 25 years for Magalie. The judge commented that the murder had a sadistic element and that it was a prolonged torture of a mental and physical kind. The judge had believed that Eric had brain damage and that caused him to believe that Kristy was a witch:

"The belief in witchcraft, however genuine, cannot excuse an assault to another person, let alone
the killing of another human being"

Judge Paget did not believe Magalie when she said she was forced to attack Kristy and that she didn't believe
in witchcraft:

"It is only explicable if you shared Eric Bikubi's belief. It provides some explanation for what
happened, but it does not excuse it"

The judge pointed out that at no point during the ordeal or the trial, had she said she was sorry for what she did.

"The sentencing reflected the brutality and sadistic cruelty inflicted on Kristy in the days leading
up to his death"
Det Supt - Terry Sharpe

In June of 2012, it was reported that Kristy's family said they have forgiven Eric and Magalie for what they did to him. Kristy's father wrote a statement meant to come from his family and friends. The statement was read out
loud by Brian Altman:

"We will never forget, but to put our lives back into sync we must forgive. We take no comfort
in the verdicts - we have been robbed of a beloved son, a daughter, a son-in-law. Kristy died
 in unimaginable circumstances at the hands of people who he loved and trusted. People who we
 all loved and trusted. Christmas, a festival of joy and Jacqueline's birthday, will always be scarred
by these terrible events. We were always fond of Eric and regarded him as a son. We were proud
that he would call us Mum and Dad. As a family we planned our futures together and Eric and I
were to open a restaurant in London together as a legacy for our family. To know that Kristy's
own sister, Magalie, did nothing to save Kristy makes the pain that much worse. We are still
unaware of the full extent of the brutality - we cannot bring ourselves to hear it. The pain of
Kristy's death is something which cannot be measured or calculated. Kristy was a fine young
man, kind and considerate, much loved by his family and friends. We saw that he was becoming
a man. We hoped that he would work with me in my carpentry business and one day take over.
Kristy was also a role model to his siblings. The children are often quiet and alone in their
 rooms. We try to stay strong for them and Jacqueline and I are compelled to grieve alone so
as not to distress the children"
Pierre Bamu

Death occurred in England

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