A WOMAN has been found guilty of handing a British girl over for female genital mutilation in Kenya in the first conviction of its kind.
Amina Noor, 39, took the three-year-old to the so-called "clinic" in a tuk-tuk and waited outside as she was cut.
The horror only came to light years later when the girl turned 16 and confided in a teacher.
When confronted by police, Noor pretended to be "shocked and upset" and claimed she was unaware the victim had been mutilated.
She has now been convicted of assisting a non-UK person to carry out the procedure overseas.
The conviction is the first of its kind under the FGM Act of 2003 and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
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During a harrowing trial, jurors heard Noor travelled with the girl to Kenya in 2006.
She claimed she believed the girl would be injected or pierced in a practice known as "Gudniin" – the Arabic word for circumcision.
Noor said despite the girl crying during the "procedure", she was "happy and able to run around and play".
Medical experts later found she had suffered severe mutilation of her genitals, which would likely have caused significant bleeding and extreme pain.
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Noor was born in Somalia but moved to Mombasa in Kenya when she was eight at the start of the civil war.
She came to Britain as a refugee in 2003 and was made a British citizen two years later.
Noor claimed in her evidence she feared she would be "cursed" and "disowned" in her community if she did not allow the girl to have the procedure.
The defendant said: "I was told it would take only five minutes, nothing's going to happen just stay out and she will come back out.
"She said something is going to be done, a drop of blood, it's nothing, nothing wrong is going to happen."
FGM – the facts
FGM is usually carried out in a warped act of religious piety.
It is routinely practised by obscure Islamic sects or people with links to African tribes who have termed it as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan among other names.
FGM is usually carried out on girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts.
It's very painful and can seriously harm their health and cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health.
It is illegal in the UK and is regarded as a form of child abuse.
FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985.
In 2003 it also became a criminal offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to take their child abroad to have female genital mutilation.
Anyone found guilty of the offence faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
Noor, from Harrow, North West London, was granted conditional bail ahead of sentencing on December 20.
To date, there has only been one other successful prosecution for FGM in the UK.
In 2019, a mum was found guilty of hiring a "witch" to cut her three-year-old daughter at home in Walthamstow, East London.
Senior crown prosecutor said: "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.
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"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."
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