A Nigerian single father from south London allowed Female Genital Mutilation to be carried out on his daughter as a form of punishment when she was nine years of age, a court heard on Monday.
The 50-year-old who is also a lawyer, after a better divorce from his wife gained custody of this British children. He allegedly allowed his daughter who is now 16, to be cut on two occasions after accusing her of stealing money from the family home.
“This was not apparently out of any cultural or family reason, but more, as she understood it, as way of punishment,” a court at the Old Bailey was told.
During an interview in July last year, the teenager said on each occasion when she was cut she was made to lie on a mat in the hallway of her south London home, naked from the waist down, jurors were told. She said she could not identify the cutter, who could have been either a man or a woman, but recalled her father “egging the person on”.
But her father denies two charges of committing female genital mutilation, two charges of wounding with intent, and three charges of child cruelty.
Mark Heywood QC, for the prosecution, told the court: “She was not given any medicine or painkillers. It was painful and she begged for it to stop. It bled a lot at the time, but her father would not listen. She was told to simply be quiet and keep still even though she was begging and crying.”
The court was told the FGM was carried out on two occasions between May 2010 and June 2013. It was said the girl allegedly confided in school friends prior to the police becoming involved.
The father, a British citizen who was arrested in July 2017, has also been charged with three counts of child cruelty against his two eldest daughters and his son for offences that allegedly took place between 2009 and 2016. The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of using a cane or stick to beat his children.
The jury was told: “You are looking at someone whose power under their own roof led him to do dreadful things.”
There is yet to be a successful prosecution under FGM legislation since it was introduced more than three decades ago.
The trial continues.
Source: The Guardian