5 May 2009

Injuries detailed in fatal exorcism case

6:36 pm on 5 May 2009

The High Court in Wellingon has heard the body of a woman who died during an attempted exorcism in Lower Hutt had several visible injuries, including scratches to the eyelids.

Janet Moses, 22, died in October 2007. Nine people, whose names are suppressed, are charged with her manslaughter.

Senior Sergeant Eric Tibbott testified that as well as the marks on her eyelids, he also noticed red dots on her eyeballs, where it appeared capillaries in her eyes had ruptured.

He told the court he also noticed a puncture wound on her chin and frothy bubbles in her left nostril.

He said the palm of her hand was very wrinkled as if she had spent a lot of time in water.

The court heard on Monday that a postmortem revealed Ms Moses drowned during the ritual.

Meanwhile, senior Anglican clergyman Hone Kaa says the words exorcism and makutu shouldn't be used together.

Rev Kaa says the term exorcism is a Western concept which has no bearing on what happens to people who are affected by some form of makutu, or curse.