Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Brazil stepfather 'tried to kill' needle boy

Roberto Carlos Magalhaes
Mr Magalhaes said using needles on his son had been "a crazy idea"

The Brazilian man who pushed dozens of sewing needles into his two-year-old stepson says he wanted to kill him to spite his wife, say media reports.

Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, 30, made his confession in a telephone interview from jail with Globo Television.

The boy is recovering after surgery to remove the needles, which came perilously close to his heart.

Mr Magalhaes said he got the boy drunk on wine before inserting the needles, up to three times in a month.

"It was a crazy idea. I mixed wine with water and had him drink it. He drank it and passed out, then I inserted the needles," he told Globo's Fantastico programme.

"It was to get back at the boy's mother. I thought the needles would work their way through his body and kill the boy. It was a way to kill without anyone discovering."

'Ritual killing'

X-rays revealed some 30 needles lodged throughout the child's body.

An X-ray of the Brazilian boy's body with needles inside
X-rays showed some 30 sewing needles inside the boy

Four needles were removed by surgery on Friday, and doctors are planning more operations to extract needles from the boy's abdomen, intestines and bladder.

Brazilian police said last week the stepfather had confessed to sticking the needles into the toddler with the help of another man and a woman.

Police said Mr Magalhaes, a bricklayer, told them his mistress had urged him to ritually kill the child to take revenge on his wife.

The boy's mother had taken him to hospital in the north-eastern state of Bahia, suffering from stomach pains and vomiting.

She suspected the child had been the victim of a black magic ritual after she found suspicious objects in the home she shared with Mr Magalhaes - her husband of six months - and her six children.

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