Although it's been a while since London was bothered by witchcraft* it seems that there are still people out there worried by it. Worried enough in fact to torture an eight year old girl.
Proceedings at the Old Bailey had to be suspended today when the girl, now ten years old, broke down after watching videos of her police interviews.
The girl's aunt, two other women and one man (all from London) are accused with conspiracy to murder and several counts of child cruelty and aiding and abetting child cruelty:
The court had earlier heard the girl was put in a bag and was about to be thrown into a river when the attack was stopped. Charges against the four defendants allege that chilli peppers were rubbed into the girl's eyes, she was beaten with a belt, slapped, cut with a knife and starved
The BBC reports that the judge and the barristers removed their wigs and gowns to make the courtroom less intimidating. Nice idea, but we're guessing after being tortured almost to death, smuggled out of her own country, losing her parents and almost thrown into a river in Hackney a couple of wigs and dressing gowns are going to be the least featured items in her nightmares.
This all apparently began when a boy told his mother that the girl had been using witchcraft against the family. 2005 and people still believe in this crap?
*Oddly enough the last witchcraft trial was held only fifty or so years ago after medium Helen Duncan revealed a ship had been torpedoed after channelling one of the dead seamen. The authorities fearing she'd blab about D Day prosecuted her under the Witchcraft Act of 1735 (that act was only repealed in 1951 - perhaps also by the law undertakers) and she was sentenced to nine months in Holloway with her right to appeal to the House of Lords denied.