‘Cruel’ African Father Used FGM to ‘Punish’ Daughter, UK Court Told

Wales
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A “cruel” father arranged to have Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) inflicted on his daughter, nine, as a form of “punishment”, the Old Bailey has heard.

The West African origin 50-year-old father-of-four, who cannot be named, allegedly recruited someone to cut the girl with a razor blade at their home in south London between 2010 and 2013.

He is said to have overseen the abuse and “egg[ed] on” the person wielding the blade as the small girl begged for mercy.

According to The Times, Mark Heywood, QC, for the prosecution, said: “This was not apparently done out of any cultural or family reason but more in the way of punishment.

“On two occasions he had someone come to the house and, using a sharp implement, she thought a razor blade, had her cut repeatedly in a series of deliberate actions causing serious injury to her small body.

“It bled a lot at the time but her father would not listen. She was told to be quiet and keep still. She had been crying and begging. He simply encouraged the person to keep on doing it, egging them on.”

The father is also accused of beating the girl with a slipper and stick, and degraded her sister, called her a “bastard” and “slut”.

When the wounds healed from the first cutting, the second round of abuse occurred, which allegedly left her bleeding for weeks.

The girl told a friend and her mother contacted the charity Childline. The father denies two of wounding with intent, two of FGM, and three of cruelty over a period of seven years.

Describing the alleged physical abuse of the young girl, Mr. Heywood added:

“At times his dealings were harsh and cruel. His style of control led him to resort to shouting, belittling, name-calling and violent chastisement, well beyond the bounds of the corrective or disciplinary actions of a kind that might be used by a normal and loving father.

“This was no light tap or gentle reminder to step back into line. He shouted his message at them and reinforced it by beating them, at times forcefully using a stick or slipper to inflict pain.”

Defending, Kate Bex, QC, claimed that the father believed the children had “rewritten their history” because they were “susceptible to their mother’s influence” after their marriage broke down.

She added that FGM was “predominantly perpetrated by female cutters on women” for reasons that included “purification, honour, and social acceptance”. The trial continues.

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