'Witch' child cruelty trio guilty
("BBC News," June 3, 2005)
London, England - Three people have been found guilty of cruelty to an eight-year-old girl they had believed to be a witch.
The girl's aunt, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of four charges of child cruelty.
Another relative, Sita Kisanga, 35, of Hackney, east London, was found guilty at the Old Bailey of three charges of aiding and abetting child cruelty.
Kisanga's brother Sebastian Pinto, 33, of Stoke Newington, London, was found guilty of aiding and abetting cruelty.
The two women were found not guilty of conspiracy to murder. The three were remanded in custody and were warned by Judge Christopher Moss that they faced jail sentences.
The child, now 10, had told the trial that she was to be thrown into a river from a third floor flat.
The cruelty started at the beginning of 2003 when a boy told his mother that the girl had been using witchcraft.
The child was cut with a knife, beaten with a belt and shoe and had chilli peppers rubbed in her eyes to beat the devil out of her during her ordeal at a flat in Hackney, east London.
The orphan was was brought to Britain in 2002 by her 38-year-old aunt from Angola, was beaten until she was made to admit she had been doing witchcraft.