British Court sentenced mother to 11 years in prison for FMG
London – A British court has sentenced a 37-year-old mother from Uganda to 11 years in prison for mutilating the genitals of her 3-year-old daughter, making her the first person in the country to be punished for FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).
According to The New York Times the woman, who shall remain anonymous in order to protect her child’s identity, last month became the first person convicted for FGM in the UK.
On Friday Judge Philippa Whipple sentenced the mother to 11 years in prison for the mutilation, plus an additional two years for possession of extreme pornography.
Whipple stated the mother was guilty of child abuse, saying
“It’s a barbaric practice and a serious crime, It’s an offense which targets women, particularly inflicted when they are young and vulnerable.“
The mother had pleaded not guilty, claiming her child was injured by accident in the summer of 2017. After losing a significant amount of blood due to her injury, the girl was rushed to a hospital. After examination, jurors of London’s Central Crime Court have concluded that the girl’s injuries were deliberate. FMG has been outlawed in the UK since 1985, but all previous cases have led to acquittals.
Professor of Criminology Aisha K. Gill from the University of Roehampton has called the court case a landmark, stating:
“We need to see that the law will be operational and effective to enable victims to come forward when necessary.“
British Parliament is considering an amendment to the “Children Act” of 1989, giving the authorities more powers to protect girls from genital mutilation before cases go to court.
An earlier report of the National Health Service stated that no less than 5391 newly-recorded cases of FMG have been found in the UK in a single year, according to The BBC, a third of the girls from these cases were born in Somalia, while a little over a hundred where UK-born.
The World Health Organisation estimates that at least 200 million girls and females around the globe live with the scars of FMG.