Cows’ tongues bound in wire with nails and used in a black magic spell to “silence the police and the doctors” were found in the freezer of a Ugandan woman accused of committing female genital mutilation against her three-year-old daughter, the Old Bailey has heard.
The 37-year-old woman and the Ghanaian man, 43, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are on trial accused of mutilating their daughter and for failing to protect her from FGM on August 28th, 2017.
The BBC reports that the mother had an interest in witchcraft and that when police searched her east London home, they found the animal parts prepared in a ritualistic manner.
According to WhatsApp messages between the mother and father the day after the alleged mutilation, these items may have been used as part of a spell to silence those involved in the investigation, the prosecution alleges.
Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC told the jury: “Two cow tongues were bound in wire with nails and a small blunt knife also embedded in them, 40 limes were found and other fruit which when opened contained pieces of paper with names on them.
“The names embedded included both police officers involved in the investigation of the case, the social worker, her own son, and the then director of public prosecutions.”
“These people were to ‘shut up’ and ‘freeze their mouths.’ There was a jar with a picture of a social worker in pepper found hidden behind the toilet in the bathroom. Another spell was hidden under the bed,” Ms Carberry said.
Female Genital Mutilation: Five Lessons U.S. Lawmakers Can Learn from Europe https://t.co/gNL9DEd0w3
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The Ugandan woman told police that her daughter had cut her genitals falling after trying to reach for a biscuit, descending from a countertop and straddling a cupboard door whilst not wearing any underwear.
The couple are also alleged to have told the daughter to tell authorities that she had fallen, as the parents described. But the court heard that the now five-year-old girl had confided in her foster parents and police that her mother and her father, who lives nearby, held her down while a “witch” cut her.
“This is where I felled. I tried to get a biscuit and I fell over on the metal [sic],” the child told police in her first interview, when shown a picture of the kitchen.
The court heard she later told her foster carer that the woman she called a witch “cut my privates” and pointed to her genitals.
“They hold me the lady she cut me. Blood everywhere. I no fall down, they tell me I fall down [sic],” the toddler later told authorities.
The court heard that the victim had to be taken to Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone and lost a “significant amount of blood” as a result of the injuries.
A consultant surgeon identified “three separate sites of injury” on her private parts and said that in his opinion, the damage had been inflicted with a scalpel.
The prosecution said the doctor identified the incisions as Type II FGM, which involves the “mutilation of the clitoris and removal of the labia minora.”
The African migrants deny all charges. The trial, expected to last three weeks, continues.
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