Mother jailed after first ‘barbaric’ FGM conviction

A mother has been jailed after becoming the first person to be convicted of "barbaric" female genital mutilation (FGM).

The 37-year-old Ugandan woman was found guilty of cutting her three-year-old daughter despite deploying witchcraft to "shut up" her accusers.

Her former partner, a 43-year-old Ghanaian, was cleared of involvement in the offence in August 2017.

On Friday – International Women's Day – the mother, from Walthamstow, east London, appeared to be sentenced.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC told the court the young victim had recovered well but she was likely to have reduced sexual sensation in the future and long-term psychological damage.

Mrs Justice Whipple jailed the woman for 11 years for FGM plus two further years for indecent images and extreme pornography.

She said: "FGM has long been against the law and let's be clear FGM is a form of child abuse.

"It's a barbaric practice and a serious crime. It's an offence which targets women, particularly inflicted when they are young and vulnerable."

The judge said it was not known why the woman inflicted FGM on her child, contrary to her culture, although witchcraft was a possibility.

On the psychological effect on the victim, she the told defendant: "This is a significant and life long burden for her to carry.

"You betrayed her trust in you as her protector."

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