Hackney Council launches review following child abuse case

Hackney Council has launched a review after two women and a man
were remanded in custody on Friday after they were found guilty of
child cruelty charges against an eight-year-old child,
writes Clare Jerrom.

The child’s aunt, who cannot be named, and a distant
relative Sita Kisanga tortured the girl and threatened to drown her
believing she was involved in witchcraft.

They rubbed chilli peppers into her eyes, stabbed her in the
chest and stuffed her into a laundry bag. It was claimed they
planned to drown her in a canal until Sebastian Pinto, another
distant relative, intervened.

The aunt brought her to Britain from Angola in August 2002
pretending to be her mother and claimed asylum. She was then taken
to live in Hackney, east London, with Kisanga where the abuse

Kisanga and the aunt were found guilty of a string of child
cruelty charges. Pinto was convicted of aiding and abetting child

The chief executive of Hackney Council Penny Thompson said:
“The City and Hackney Safeguarding Board has agreed to
undertake an independent review which will look in detail at all
agencies’ involvement in the case to establish whether or not
lessons can be learned which will help us strengthen our practice
and procedures for the future.”

Neighbouring Haringey Council currently has responsibility for
the care of the child.

The three will be sentenced on 8 July.

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