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Home > Horror News > Eastern Horror News > Preacher Believed Victoria Aas Possessed
Preacher Believed Victoria Aas Possessed
By: RSS/News Feeds

A preacher who “exorcised” Victoria Climbié has admitted one of her murderers convinced him the eight-year-old’s injuries were the result of demonic possession, the inquiry into the girl’s death heard today.

Pastor Pascal Orome said Victoria’s great-aunt Marie Thérèse Kouao told him the girl was incontinent, put excrement into food, burned herself and made a mess at home, which provided evidence that she was possessed.

Mr Orome said that without even speaking to the girl he knew she was coping with hardship when he first saw her at his church in Borough, south-east London, in August 1999.

The preacher told the inquiry he spotted raw wounds on Victoria’s head and saw her hands were “black with scars”. However, he did not tell Kouao to visit the doctor because he was “too busy” with other parishioners.

After the service at the Mission Ensemble Pour Christ church Mr Orome went over to the girl and said a prayer, telling her: “You are delivered from witchcraft or wicked spirits.” Kouao had then praised him as a “man of God”, he recalled.

Mr Orome, who has been a preacher for two years, said of Victoria that it was “the first time I see such a problem of evil spirits in a child of seven or eight”.

His concern was to deal with spiritual problems through prayer. His church had no guidelines for dealing with child abuse.

He did not believe Kouao was abusing Victoria, although he admitted thinking it was strange the girl was always poorly dressed in comparison with the smartly-attired woman.

Mr Orome said he had advised Kouao to leave the home she shared with her boyfriend Carl Manning in Tottenham, north London, after Victoria accused him of sexual abuse.

The preacher said he thought the girl was lying in order to put Manning in prison and get her and her great-aunt a new home. Victoria later retracted the allegation, he added.

On the day Victoria died Kouao rang Mr Orome telling him how she had found a new church in north London where “miracles” were being performed.

She told him she was taking the girl there for prayers and had been advised that they should fast for eight days.

Another preacher, Pat Mensah, told the inquiry Kouao had duped her into thinking she was a good mother to Victoria. Mrs Mensah visited the girl at her home in February 2000 and noticed a dramatic difference in her appearance from when she visited her church in Harlesden, north-west London, the previous August.

The visit came after Kouao told her Victoria was not eating properly. The preacher saw the girl was “shivering” and had a burn mark on her arm, which her aunt said was the result of having poured hot water on herself.

Mrs Mensah said she had no suspicions about Kouao even after the woman claimed Victoria’s injuries were caused by witchcraft.

Unaware that Kouao was abusing the girl, Mrs Mensah told her to contact social services or the Citizens Advice Bureau for help, as well as going to church.

The preacher told the inquiry, “There was no reason for me to doubt her love for the child. It did not even occur to me that there was abuse going on.”

The inquiry, which resumes tomorrow, will hear on Friday from the consultant paediatrician at Central Middlesex hospital whose diagnosis led to police protection being withdrawn from Victoria.

Dr Ruby Schwartz saw the girl at hospital on 14 July 1999 and, despite the opposing views of colleagues, diagnosed her as suffering from scabies rather than child abuse.

Social worker Michelle Hines, who along with PC Karen Dewar, carried out the request to withdraw protection from Victoria without speaking to her, is also set to give evidence on October 12.

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