Woman jailed for 11 years in first British FGM conviction

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Woman jailed for 11 years in first British FGM conviction

Woman jailed for 11 years in first British FGM conviction

IANS   ¦    Mar 09, 2019 11:01:50 PM (IST)

Woman jailed for 11 years in first British FGM conviction-1London: A woman has been jailed for 11 years, becoming the first person in Britain to be convicted of female genital mutilation (FGM) in a landmark case, the media reported.

Speaking at the Central Criminal Court here on Friday, Justice Philippa Whipple found the 37-year-old Ugandan woman guilty of cutting her three-year-old daughter, the Guardian reported.

An additional two years were added to her sentence for possessing indecent images and extreme pornography.

Justice Whipple said it was not known why the woman inflicted FGM on her child, although witchcraft was a possibility.

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

The woman and her Ghanaian partner, 43, both from Walthamstow, east London, were accused of cutting their daughter in 2017. The man was cleared of involvement following a trial.

The victim has told trained officers that she had been cut by a "witch".

Police searched the woman's home, finding evidence of witchcraft, including spells written inside frozen limes and two cow's tongues.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry 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.

"The names embedded included both police officers involved in the investigation of the case, the social worker, her own son and the then director of public prosecutions."

She said a jar with a picture of a social worker was found hidden behind the toilet and another spell was hidden under the bed.

The woman has denied the accusation, saying someone who commits a crime like this "is not human". She was found guilty last month.

Research by London's City University estimated 137,000 women and girls are living with FGM in England and Wales.