The boys mother believed the child had been possessed by a kindoki, an evil spirit, and requested he be sent to the Congo to receive deliverance.
Dr Richard Hoskins, a criminologist who specialises in African beliefs, was paid £4,000 to travel to the Congo and investigate the possibility of undertaking the ritual.
Hoskins advised the council against sending him. The rituals, which involved depriving the child for three days of food and fluids, she said, would be “deeply disturbing and traumatising”.
Hoskins had previously given evidence in the case of Kristy Bamu, a 15-year-old east London boy drowned in a bath during an exorcism. Eric Bikubi, 28, and Magalie Bamu, 29 – Kristy’s sister – were convicted of murder.
The council acknowledges paying for the trip but states that it did so under orders from a judge.