A woman has been found guilty of handing over a three-year-old British girl for female genital mutilation (FGM) during a trip to Kenya 17 years ago, in the first conviction of its kind.
Amina Noor, 39, was convicted of assisting a non-UK person to mutilate the girl’s genitalia overseas at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
This is the very first conviction of its kind under the FGM Act of 2003 and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
To date, the only other successful prosecution was in 2019 when a Ugandan woman from Walthamstow, east London, was jailed for 11 years for cutting a three-year-old girl.
Senior crown prosecutor Patricia Strobino hailed Noor’s conviction saying: ‘This kind of case will hopefully encourage potential victims and survivors of FGM to come forward, safe in the knowledge that they are supported, believed and also are able to speak their truth about what’s actually happened to them.
‘It will also send a clear message to those prospective defendants or people that want to maintain this practice that it doesn’t matter whether they assist or practise or maintain this practice within the UK, or overseas, they are likely to be prosecuted.’
She added: ‘Part of the challenge of this type of offence is the fact that these types of offences occur in secrecy.
‘Within specific communities within the UK, although these offences and practices are prevalent, it’s often very difficult to get individuals to come forward to explain the circumstances of what’s happened to them because there was a fear that they may be excluded or pushed away or shunned, isolated from their community.’
The judge, Mr Justice Bryan, thanked jurors for sitting on a case which they may have found ’emotional’.
He granted Noor conditional bail ahead of her sentencing at the same court on December 20.
Previously, prosecutor Deanna Heer KC said Noor had travelled to Kenya with the girl in 2006, and while there took her to a private house where the child was subjected to FGM.
The crime only came to light years later when the girl was aged 16 and confided in her English teacher at school.
When spoken to, Noor said she thought the procedure was just an injection and afterwards the girl was ‘happy and able to run around and play’.
But when examined in 2019, it emerged that in fact the girl’s clitoris had been completely removed.
Noor appeared ‘shocked and upset’ and said that was not what she thought was going to happen.