Friday, December 18, 2009

‘Religious rite’ behind 40 needles in toddler
‘Religious rite’ behind 40 needles in toddler
Friday, 18 December 2009

A toddler's stepfather has admitted sticking more than 40 needles deep into the boy's body, claiming it was a religious ritual.

Angry crowds surrounded the Brazilian police station where Roberto Carlos Magalhaes was being held and had to be pushed back by reinforcements after his confession was made public. Meanwhile, the two-year-old boy was waiting for emergency surgery to remove needles dangerously close to his heart.

Magalhaes told detectives that a woman who went into a trance would “command him to stick the needles in the boy's body,” police said. “According to his confession, he acted under influence of the woman, but it was him who stuck the needles in the boy's body.”

He said the step-father, the woman and one other have been arrested.

Meanwhile the child, who is not being identified, was airlifted to the heart unit of a major hospital, but it was not immediately clear when doctors might be able to operate.

Doctors located 42 needles in the boy, who was in stable condition in Salvador.

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