Three face jail after guilty verdict in exorcism trial

A husband who organised the brutal exorcism of his wife to “beat the demon” out of her is facing jail.

Asma Hussain was tied to a bed in her Bethnal Green home and beaten with a walking stick after her family became convinced she was possessed.

Wheelchair-bound husband Ahmed Hussain, 60, arranged for a local imam to carry out the exorcism, encouraging him to hit her harder, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Holy water was thrown on Mrs Hussain during the beating at the home in Mace Street last January, witnessed by Hussain’s son, Mohammed Kayes Hussain and son-in-law, Mohammed Aziz.

The attack left Mrs Hussain with massive bruising on her back and injuries to her face and hands.

Ahmed Hussain, Mohammed Kayes Hussain, 28, and Aziz, 21, all denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but were found guilty by the jury.

Remanding all three men on bail, Judge Neil Sanders said: “My ordering of reports and granting bail is no indication at all that anything other than a custodial sentence is what I have in mind.”

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Earlier the three men, together with Ahmed Hussain’s daughter, Salma, 22, and daughter-in-law Halima Khatun, 28, were cleared of false imprisonment, and Salma Hussain and Khatun were acquitted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Prosecutor Babatunde Alabi told the jury that the acts were an effort to “beat the demon out”.

He said: “During the course of the exorcism, she was held down, had water poured all over her and was beaten with a cane.

“Asma was tied to the bed while the imam prayed. The imam started beating Asma with her husband’s walking stick.

Ahmed Hussain, of Casillis Roads, Millwall, Mohammed Kayes Hussain of Harpley Square, Mile End and Mohammed Aziz of Farthing Fields, Wapping, will be sentenced on October 18.