First person in Britain to be convicted of FGM – The mother of a three-year-old girl has become the first person to be found guilty of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
The girl’s Ugandan mother was prosecuted under FGM laws after using a ‘witch’ to help her carry out the surgery at her home in Walthamstow, east London.
The girl, now five, told police she was pinned down while a woman they called a witch mutilated her.
The girl’s Ghanaian father, 43, was also prosecuted but was cleared of all charges at the Old Bailey today. Neither parent can be named for legal reasons.
The court has heard how the mutilation went wrong and emergency services were called. They were told the girl had fallen, but a surgeon found three separate sites of injury and no bruising to indicate a fall.
The girl was told to say she had injured herself on a cupboard door after climbing on to a work surface to get biscuits when she was interviewed by social workers, the Old Bailey heard.
When officers searched the mother’s home in east London, they found cows’ tongues and evidence of spells and curses in the freezer, the jury heard.
Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC said the mother had an interest in witchcraft. Her spells targeted social workers, police in the case and even the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders.
Describing the items found in the kitchen freezer, she said: 'Two cow tongues, they 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. These people were to 'shut up' and 'freeze their mouths'.'
The mother, who is a convicted benefits cheat, had even taken a picture of her handiwork - and sent it to a prospective boyfriend in Africa.
She wept in the dock today as she was found guilty of the charge.
Judge Mrs Justice Whipple warned of a 'lengthy' jail term as she remanded the woman into custody ahead of sentencing on March 8.
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