published Aug. 29, 2020, 9:13 p.m. by mariamagboola
Ugandan woman in Britain convicted of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
A Ugandan woman became the first person ever to be found guilty of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Britain when she was convicted on Friday of harming her then three-year-old daughter in 2017.
The 37-year-old, who lives in London but cannot be identified for legal reasons, wept in the dock as she was convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey in London, England's central criminal court.
Her 43-year-old Ghanaian partner, the girl's father, who also cannot be identified, was cleared.
FGM has been specifically outlawed in Britain since 1985 but previous prosecutions have never been successful.
The parents took their bleeding daughter to hospital in August 2017, with the mother claiming she had fallen from a kitchen worktop onto an open door. Doctors found the injuries were consistent with deliberate mutilation rather than a fall.
Police found spells and curses in the mother's home, said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the state prosecutors in England.
They included two cow tongues in her freezer bound in wire, with nails and a small knife embedded in them.
There were also 40 limes which contained pieces of paper with the names of police officers and social workers involved in the case.
Government figures indicate that tens of thousands of women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM. Studies show FGM in Britain is chiefly rooted in its African communities.
"FGM has an appalling physical and emotional impact on victims that usually lasts their entire life," said the CPS's Lynette Woodrow. "We can only imagine how much pain this vulnerable young girl suffered and how terrified she was. "A three-year-old has no power to resist or fight back.
"Her mother then coached her to lie to the police so she would not get caught but this ultimately failed. The maximum penalty is 14 years in jail. It was "extremely difficult" to secure evidence in FGM cases, given the young age and vulnerability of victims, and a reluctance to testify against their closest family;
said the prosecutor.
Police said the daughter had made a good recovery from her "horrific and life-changing" injuries and been placed with another family