What The Devil Has Got Into Catherine Cavendish?
I’m pleased to welcome back Catherine Cavendish who has a new book out today. Here she is..
A Woman Possessed…
My latest novella – The Devil Inside Her – features a woman possessed by a demon intent on murdering and dragging souls back to hell.
A work of fiction? Yes. But what about the reality?
Today, I’m focussing on a real-life report of demon possession – and one that appears to have been accepted as a defence plea by the judge who tried her case:
In Leicester (UK), 20 year old Lorraine Mbulawa walked free from court in May 2011, even though she had repeatedly stabbed her 43 year old mother who was sleeping. The judge, Mr Justice Keith, accepted her claim that she had been possessed by evil spirits. The psychiatric report concluded that she was sane and the jury agreed that she knew precisely what she was doing.
The judge sentenced her to 120 hours of unpaid work and gave her a twelve month suspended sentence because he accepted that ‘she believed spirits can enter your body and make you do things that you otherwise would not have done.’ He praised her for being, ‘unusually confident and assured, also not unintelligent with a degree of charm and poise.’
Mbulawa claimed that the spirit of her dead grandmother had told her that her mother was responsible for her father’s sudden death in 2000 and had instructed her to, ‘do the honourable thing to my father by killing my mother.’
Her mother stated that, at the time of the attack, she didn’t recognise her daughter’s voice, thereby adding weight to the defence that her daughter believed she was possessed by her grandmother’s spirit, hell bent on revenge.
The psychiatrist told the court Mbulawa was still a risk, as she believed spirits could possess her again and she would have no control over them. At the time of the incident, she would have been in a disassociated state, a subconscious experience where the mind doesn’t go with the actions.
A policewoman told the court that, when she arrived at the house, Mbulawa was in a trance-like state, crying, shaking and hyper-ventilating while her mother, bleeding heavily from her wounds, tried to comfort her. On the way to the police station, the accused calmed down and became ‘like a different person.’
She was cleared of attempted murder but guilty of unlawful wounding. The judge said he accepted she had strong beliefs in witchcraft and sincerely believed she was possessed by the spirit of her grandmother at the time of the attack in May 2009.
As she left court, her mother – whom she had stabbed five times in the face, neck and shoulders in the frenzied nocturnal attack – embraced her. After two years apart, the two would now live together once again.
By his controversial and arguably lenient sentencing, Mr Justice Keith was roundly criticised for accepting ‘The Devil’s Defence’.
Was he right? Was she truly possessed? It appears, by all accounts, that mother and daughter were normally very close. Something out of the ordinary clearly happened that night and it doesn’t seem to have been a result of any sudden argument or flare-up between them. Before attacking her mother with a kitchen knife, Mbulawa had dressed in a balaclava, gloves and dark clothes.
Let’s hope, for both their sakes’, that grandmother’s spirit is now at peace.
You can find out more about Cat and contact her at:
www.goodreads.com as Catherine Cavendish