There have been further revelations in one of the most disturbing stories of the year, as the stepfather of a toddler found to have over 50 sewing needles in his body admits that he inflicted the injuries on the little boy.
Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, a 30-year-old bricklayer, says he was obeying his lover who would enter a trance and "command him to stick the needles in the boy's body".
Angelina Ribeiro dos Santos persuaded Magalhaes that inserting the needles into the boy would enable them to be together, she even paid to have the needles blessed by a practitioner of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomble.
Police believe that dos Santos was motivated by revenge on the boy's mother for undisclosed reasons.
A police spokesman said, "According to his confession, he acted under influence of the woman, but it was he who stuck the needles in the boy's body."
The pair are under arrest and have been moved to a secret location, after crowds threw stones at the police station where they were being held.
The boy has been in hospital since Sunday. Initially doctors concluded that removing some of the deeply embedded needles would be too risky, however the child has been flown to another hospital as it was feared that a couple of the needles were dangerously close to his heart.
His condition is described as 'stable' and he is conscious, although he remains in intensive care.Suggest a correction