Witchcraft fails to save Briton murdered by burglars

A British former teacher has been hacked to death by a gang of criminals in Papua New Guinea – after trying to protect his family home with witchcraft.

Guy Mascord, 50, turned to “black magic” to keep his family safe after countless burglaries. But he was attacked by members of the country’s notorious “raskol” gangs last weekend during another attempted burglary.

The gang are believed to have killed Mr Mascord with an axe or machete. Mr Mascord, who had lived in Papua New Guinea for nearly 30 years, was found dead on 19 August. He was discovered by police on the veranda of his home in Port Moresby after neighbours had heard scuffling and a loud bang.

The father of three, originally from Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, had previously hired a witchdoctor to cast a spell on his house to deter thieves.

Mr Mascord’s sister, Pat, said her brother had been burgled several times before. However, the crimes initially stopped once a spell had been used on his house.

The 57-year-old said: “Guy had been robbed on many occasions and it got to the point where he could not get insured any more. He lived very much like the natives, and adapted and embraced their culture.

“He thought the only way to put a stop to the burglaries was to call in a witchdoctor – a very normal thing to do in Papua New Guinea. Many people would do it. After the witchdoctor had put a spell on the house, he wasn’t burgled for a long time. Various members of tribes were believed to be carrying out the attacks on homes in the area. It was thought if they found out about spells being cast on certain houses, they would fear that something bad would happen to them if they attacked those properties, so they would stop.”

She added: “We still don’t know the exact motive for his killing. We are just baffled by it all. He knew of the violence in the country, but wanted to stay despite that. It was a very idyllic place.”

Mr Mascord moved to Papua New Guinea in 1979. He later married a local woman. He had most recently been working as an environmental impact consultant at a gold mine. He met his wife Lydia after moving there, and became stepfather to her two children.

His sister added: “He lived life to the full and wanted to make a difference – and he really did a lot for that country.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday August 27, 2007.
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