A Ugandan origin woman has been found guilty of female genital mutilation (FGM) of a three year old girl, the first person in British legal history successfully tried under the nation’s FGM laws.
The 37-year-old woman, who is of Ugandan origin, and her 43-year-old Ghanian partner, both of whom live Walthamstow, London were tried for the cutting of their three-year-old daughter’s genitals in 2017.
Neither defendant can be named. The mother was found guilty while her partner was acquitted. Both denied the charges.
The court had previously heard how the mother had allegedly cast spells involving limes, ox tongues, and screws in a bid to silence or intimidate social workers, police, and her children.
FGM Trial: African Couple Cast Black Magic Spells on Police, Doctors, Court Hears https://t.co/BxXtnflYL1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 17, 2019
Commenting on the case, Leethen Bartholomew of the UK-based National FGM centre said: “Speaking about what happened to her will have been a tremendously difficult experience for the victim and with today’s verdict she has finally got the justice she deserves. The effects of female genital mutilation have a lifelong impact on survivors both physically and psychologically, so it is vital support is in place for her for as long as she needs it.
“At the National FGM Centre we work to prevent this hidden form of child abuse and also provide support to survivors. Education is a key part in this, including working with girls and their families, raising awareness in schools and communities, and training professionals like social workers and teachers to spot girls at risk of FGM and know how to report it.
“I hope today’s verdict serves as a warning to those considering having FGM carried out on their daughter or other family member or taking her abroad to do so. It is illegal and the police and the Crown Prosecution Service will do everything in their power to track down and bring to justice anyone who carries out FGM.”
UK: Official Figures Show Number of FGM Cases More Than Double in a Year https://t.co/aD2gCniTlr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 30, 2018
The United Kingdom has had laws criminalising FGM since 1985, but until now prosecutors had never secured a conviction, despite the high volume of girls mutilated — often while travelling abroad with family.
Breitbart London reported in 2018 that around 4,500 new cases of FGM had been recorded in the previous year, the equivalent of more than one every two hours. Over 2018, the number of FGM cases coming to the attention of the British authorities doubled.