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A PRIEST told yesterday how he thought abuse victim Victoria Climbie was possessed by the devil days before she died.

The eight-year-old was taken to Alvaro Lima's church by her aunt Marie-Therese Kouao four times in the last week of her life. Kouao, jailed for life with lover Carl Manning for Victoria's murder, told Mr Lima the child had "destroyed her life".

Mr Lima added: "Victoria said Satan told her to burn her body. She said she liked doing bad things."

Mr Lima, of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in North London, said: "I thought she was possessed."

He added he had "no idea" Victoria was being abused. Lima set a date for Victoria to come back when worshippers could pray for deliverance.

But she went two days early barely able to walk and could neither speak nor open her eyes, the inquiry heard.

Lima said he told Kouao to take Victoria to hospital. Two days later, last February, she died with 128 injuries to her body.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 7, 2001
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