A 37-year-old mother was arrested after being the first person in the UK to be convicted of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The Ugandan woman mutilated her three-year-old daughter in her home in East London in 2017.
She was imprisoned for 11 years for the FGM and another two years for indecent pictures and extreme pornography.
Ms. Justice Whipple condemned the Old Bailey and said the crime was "a barbaric and disgusting crime."
"FGM has long been against the law and we want to clarify that FGM is a form of child abuse," she added.
Spells and curses
The mother was born in Uganda and has been living in the UK for several years. FGM is banned in both countries, the CPS said.
The judge said that it was not known why the woman had inflicted FGM on her child despite her culture, although witchcraft was possible.
Proverbs and curses intended to carry out police investigations were found before the woman's trial.
During the trial, the woman claimed that her daughter had a sponge cake in August 2017 and "fell on metal and tore her private parts."
Physicians alerted the police about the girl's injuries after treating them at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone.
The child "lost a significant amount of blood as a result of the injuries he suffered and inflicted on him," the jury said.
Female Genital Mutilation
- Includes "the partial or complete removal of the female external genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons"
- Practiced in 30 countries in Africa and some countries in Asia and the Middle East
- An estimated three million girls and women are at risk each year
- It is estimated that approximately 125 million victims live with the consequences
- It is often done in young girls, often between infancy and the age of 15 years
- Often motivated by beliefs about what is considered to be proper sexual behavior to prepare a girl or woman for adulthood and marriage and to ensure "pure femininity".
- Dangers include heavy bleeding, urinary problems, infections, infertility, and an increased risk of birth and neonatal complications
Source: World Health Organization
The former partner of the woman, a 43-year-old Ghanaian, was released from involvement in the FGM offense.
However, he pleaded guilty to two charges for possession of an indecent picture of a child and two charges of extreme pornography.
Ms. Justice Whipple sentenced him to eleven months in prison, although he was already in custody.
While the parents were on bail, police ransacked Mother's home and said they found evidence of "witchcraft."
Prosecutor Caroline Carberry, QC, said two cow tongues are "embedded in wire with nails and a small blunt knife".
Forty limes and other fruits were found containing papers with names, including police and social workers involved in the investigation.
The judge condemned the woman, who can not be named to protect the identity of the victim, and said, "[FGM] is a barbaric practice and a serious crime. It is a crime directed against women, especially at a young age and vulnerable. "
On the psychological implications for the victim, she told the defendant, "This is a significant and lifelong burden she must bear.
"They betrayed their confidence in you as their protector."
"Terrible child abuse"
The case is only the fourth FGM indictment brought to justice in the UK. The previous cases led to acquittals.
John Cameron, NSPCC Childline Director, said, "Some cultures see FGM as an essential part of a young girl's education, and it can even put pressure on families to adapt.
"The truth is, it's a terrible form of child abuse and a crime that has no place in today's society.
"If we want to protect girls from this dangerous and potentially life-changing practice, we need to talk about FGM and encourage people to seek help and advice and report concerns when they think a child has been cut or about to be cut."
Commander Ivan Balhatchet, National Police Chief of FGM, said: "Female genital mutilation is a barbaric and violent crime – a violation of human rights – often with lifelong consequences to be committed by the people most trusted by children."