Mardoche was 11 when I first met him, shivering in the corner of a youth psychiatric ward in Chelsea.
Before I could speak, he looked up. ‘I am not a witch,’ he said. ‘I don’t even know what this kindoki [witchcraft] is.’
This wasn’t my first encounter with a sinister phenomenon taking hold across Europe and Britain.
‘Witch branding’– telling a child they’re possessed by witchcraft and face life-threatening exorcism – is already an epidemic in Africa.
Today there are hundreds of cases of witch branding in Britain, perhaps thousands.
Most involve people from Africa, where traditional beliefs in black magic are widespread.