A judge has sentenced a 37-year-old Ugandan woman to 11 years in jail for performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on her three-year-old daughter, the UK’s Press Association (PA) news agency reported.
The defendant was found guilty of the “barbaric” practice last month, becoming the first person to be convicted of the offense in the UK.
In sentencing at London’s Old Bailey criminal court Friday, Judge Mrs Justice Whipple handed down an 11-year jail term and a further two years for possession of indecent images and extreme pornography.
“FGM has long been against the law and let’s be clear FGM is a form of child abuse,” PA reported the judge as 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 judge told the woman that her daughter will likely suffer long-term psychological effects from the ordeal.
“This is a significant and lifelong burden for her to carry,” the judge said, according to PA. “You betrayed her trust in you as her protector.”
In February, the Central Criminal Court confirmed to CNN that a 37-year-old Ugandan woman from Walthamstow, London was found guilty of performing FGM on her daughter in summer 2017.
The mother wept in court when the verdict was announced, PA reported, while her partner, 43, from Ghana, was acquitted of all charges. The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied the charges of performing FGM and failing to protect a girl from the risk of genital mutilation.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Baker from the Metropolitan Police acknowledged the “bravery” of the victim since the ordeal, and confirmed in a statement that she has made a “very speedy recovery” and been placed with another family.
Under UK law, anyone found guilty of performing FGM can be imprisoned for a maximum of 14 years. It has been illegal in the UK since 1985.