A woman was whipped with a walking stick during a brutal exorcism organised by members of her own family, a court heard.

Asma Hussain was also said to have been tied to a bed and covered with holy water after relatives became convinced she was possessed by a demon.

Her husband Ahmed, 60, summoned the local Muslim preacher to carry out the ceremony and encouraged him to hit his wife harder, Snaresbrook crown court heard.

Mrs Hussain's back was described as "one massive bruise" and she also suffered injuries to her face and hands.

Ahmed Hussain, his son Mohammed, 28, daughter Salma, 22, daughter-in-law Halima Khatun, 28, and son-in-law Mohammed Azia, 21, are all on trial accused of false

imprisonment and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. They are said to have believed "black magic" had been cast on their victim.

"It appears that members of Asma Hussain's family believed that she was possessed by demons," said prosecutor Babatunde Alabi.

"As a result of this belief, it is alleged they kept her captive in her own home, tying her to a bed in the living room. They also arranged for an imam to carry out an exorcism on her.

"During the course of the exorcism, she was held down, had water poured all over her and was beaten with a cane."

The exorcism, at the family home in Bethnal Green, is said to have been instigated by Ahmed Hussain last January. The attack continued into the early hours of the morning, the court heard.

The previous day, Ahmed and son Mohammed are said to have brought the imam to the home of another daughter, Shahana, where Asma had stayed overnight, telling her someone had put "black magic" on her mother.

On the day of the exorcism, Shahana Hussain became concerned after visiting her mother to find a relative removing a tie from her leg, the jury heard.

She had a bruised face and was crying. Shahana later called police who arrived with paramedics, to be allegedly told by Mohammed Hussain his mother was possessed and needed an exorcism.

"When Asma's top was lifted up, it was discovered her back was one massive bruise," said the prosecutor.

Ahmed Hussain, of Poplar, Mohammed Hussain, of Aldgate, Salma Hussain, Azia, and Khatun, all of Shadwell, all plead not guilty.

The trial continues.