The mother of a man killed in a ‘botched exorcism’ has denied she was trying to resurrect her son – and was instead just praying.
Kennedy Ife, 26, suffered a cardiac arrest after his family bound him with handcuffs, cable ties and rope at their home in Enfield, north London, in August 2016, it is claimed. Rather than call 999 when he became unwell, father Kenneth, 64, mother Josephine, 56, and brothers Roy, 33, Harry, 32, Colin, 26, along with 20-year-old twins Daniel and Samuel allegedly tried to ‘cure’ him through prayer and restraint. The court has heard Kennedy was ‘well and healthy’ before August 2016.
But in the days leading up to his death he had displayed increasingly alarming and aggressive behaviour, jurors were told. Giving evidence Mrs Ife described barricading her bedroom door when her son ‘charged’ at her, after allegedly threatening to chop off his own penis and harm another female relative. She said her husband and sons then bound Kennedy after he bit his father during a scuffle out in the hallway. But she added that any restraint was only for short intermittent periods while he posed a threat to himself or others.
The mother was described as ‘deeply religious’ by her own barrister, Caroline Carberry QC. Ms Carberry asked her: “Did you believe your son was possessed, as the prosecution allege, by an evil spirit? “Did you believe that that spirit could only be exorcised by the use of restraint?” Mrs Ife replied: “No, I didn’t believe in that.” The Old Bailey has heard that when police and paramedics were eventually called on 22 August officers watched as the relatives chanted, apparently attempting to ‘resurrect’ Kennedy.
This isn’t Christianity, it’s paganism.