Father used female genital mutilation to punish daughter, nine, court told


A father has gone on trial accused of beating his children and organising for his nine-year-old daughter to undergo female genital mutilation to punish her.

Someone had come to the family home on two occasions and used a razor to cut the young girl as she lay on a mat in the hallway, the Old Bailey heard.

She had cried in pain and begged for it to stop but her father had simply continued "egging" the cutter on, she said in an interview.

Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC told a jury on the first day of the trial: "As far as she could understand it was a form of punishment, with which her father had previously threatened her."

The girl, who the court heard could not recall the identity of the cutter or whether they were male or female, was allegedly subjected to the ordeal twice between 2010 and 2013.

Mr Heywood said: "She recalls it was done with an implement, she described as a razor, taking about 10 minutes."

He added: "She begged and begged for it to stop."

But, he said, she recalled her father was "egging the person on".

The second incident happened when she had healed after the first, the court heard, and caused her to bleed for a week.

The 50-year-old man, originally from west Africa, would also allegedly use the stick from a McDonald's balloon or a cane to hit his children.

Another daughter had been subjected to name-calling by her father, including "bastard" and "slut", while a son had been hit with a stick, the jury was told.

Mr Heywood said: "His (the defendant's) style of control led him to resort to shouting, belittling, to name-calling and on occasion to violent chastisement, the kind of thing that went well beyond the bounds of corrective or disciplinary actions of a kind that might be used by a loving father."

The defendant faces two counts of FGM between May 30, 2010 and June 1, 2013 and two alternative counts of wounding with intent.

He also faces three charges of cruelty across a seven-year period until 2016.

The defendant, of south London, denies all the charges.