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UK Man Denies Taking Part in Family 'Exorcism' Which Led to His Brother's Death

CC BY 2.0 / Eric Huang / P1070052.jpgMexico Conducts Secret Nationwide Exorcism
Mexico Conducts Secret Nationwide Exorcism - Sputnik International
Kenneth Ife, his wife Josephine and their five sons are on trial for false imprisonment, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult after Kennedy Ife, 26, died at their London home in August 2016.

Kennedy's eldest brother, Roy Ife, 33, told the jury he had no idea his sibling was suffering from a "mental health episode" and thought he just needed to sleep.

On Wednesday, 27 February, Roy Ife was cross-examined in the witness box by prosecutor Joel Smith about his actions in the days leading up to Kennedy's death on 22 August 2016.

The trial at the Old Bailey in London heard Kennedy, who lived at the family's large home in the affluent north London suburb of Hadley Wood, had been behaving strangely for several days. He had complained of a sore throat and a difficulty in sleeping after the family went for a Chinese meal on 13 August. He had also decided to "take a break" from his church.

On Friday 19 August 2016 Kennedy pulled out his penis and threatened to cut it off, and then threatened to rape a young girl before fighting with his father and eventually being restrained with cable ties.

Later, after he was allowed to go out for a walk, he punched his brother Colin while bare-chested and then tried to headbutt Roy.

"I'd never seen this kind of behaviour from Kennedy before. He was the last person you would expect to behave like this. It was confusing, but I was under the impression he did not have a mental illness," Roy told the trial.

"Did you not think he might be suffering from an episode of mental illness?" Mr Smith asked him.

"At that point I didn't think it was mental illness. Mental illness is very difficult to diagnose. What I can say is that after these short bursts of aggression he was back to normal," Roy replied.

"You didn't think this was the time to call 999?" Mr Smith asked.

"No. His life was not in danger. He was just behaving oddly and I put it down to the fact that he hadn't slept. If someone hasn't slept in a long time they can act bizarrely. We did everything we could to monitor his behaviour…I can't diagnose mental illness. I can't say that a person is mentally ill. It's so challenging. I'm not a doctor," Roy told the jury.

'Mark of the Beast'

The trial has heard that at one point Kennedy shouted out that he "had the mark of the Beast" and felt there was a "serpent or snake" inside him.

The trial has heard Kennedy was restrained with cable ties over the weekend and the five brothers "guarded him in shifts". Two pastors — Uzoamaka Ndekwu and Pastor John Arinze — from "charismatic Christian" churches were brought to the house to pray for Kennedy.

Mr Smith asked Roy about the visit of Pastor John and four other members of the Jesus Sanctuary Ministries on Saturday 20 August 2016.

He asked him why he thought they had come to pray."Because of his sore throat and his lack of sleep," Roy said.

"They wouldn't pray for a sore throat," Mr Smith replied, and then suggested they were actually at the house to try and "exorcise" an evil spirit which they believed had possessed Kennedy.

Son Denies Hearing Father Asked About the Occult

"Was your father asked to swear on a Bible that he was not a member of the occult, or a cult, or a secret society?" Mr Smith asked.

"No. I don't recall that," Roy replied.

"Was he asked if there was anything in his family ancestry?" Mr Smith asked.

"I don't recall," Roy replied.

"Anything about the occult, tribal robes, certificates from the Pope?" Mr Smith asked, referring to evidence Kenneth Ife had given earlier in the trial.

"Not that I recall," Roy replied."So when your Dad gave this evidence it must have seemed very strange?" Mr Smith asked.

"It did seem slightly strange," Roy replied.

But after another burst of violence on the morning of Monday 22 August, another brother, Harry Ife, phoned 999 and said Kennedy was struggling to breathe.

Paramedics arrived but Kennedy was dead.The trial has heard that when police arrived at the house they found the family carrying out an "attempted resurrection" over his body.

"Kennedy I command you to rise in the name of Jesus," they heard Colin say over his brother's prostrate body.

Mr Smith told the jury the prosecution's position was that Kennedy Ife had been restrained with cable ties all over the weekend and right up until the moment his brother rang 999.

Roy Ife denied that was the case and said the cable ties had been removed 90 minutes before Kennedy suffered breathing difficulties.

"It was a traumatic episode. I've spent the past two years trying to forget about everything that happened. Since his death I have had anxiety attacks and the way I cope is to try and black everything out," Roy said, as he tried to explain why his answers to some of Mr Smith's questions were so vague.

Mr Smith also asked him why the cable ties and handcuffs had been put in a bag and thrown over a neighbour's fence and why a packet of Diazepam had been hidden in a wheelie bin.

Roy Ife admitted throwing the bag and said he "panicked" because he was unsure if it was legal to use handcuffs to restrain someone, but denied having anything to do with disposing of the Diazepam.

His barrister, Diana Ellis QC, asked him about how he felt about his actions in hindsight.

"If you knew then what you know now that he was suffering from excited delirium or acute behaviour disorder would you have sought emergency help?" she asked Roy.

"I would have," he replied.

Kenneth Ife, 64, and his wife Josephine, 56, their sons Roy, 33, Harry, 32, Colin, 26, and twins Daniel and Samuel, 20, all deny manslaughter, false imprisonment and causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.The trial continues.

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