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Father 'beat children and punished daughter with FGM'

Old Bailey court Image copyright PA
Image caption The Old Bailey heard the defendant was "harsh and cruel" in his treatment of his children

A father organised for his nine-year-old daughter to undergo female genital mutilation to punish her, a court has heard.

The Old Bailey heard someone came to the family home on two occasions and used a razor to cut the young girl as she lay in the hallway.

As far as she could understand it was a form of punishment, jurors were told.

The 50-year-old man denies two charges of committing female genital mutilation between 30 May 2010 and 1 June 2013.

He also denies two charges of wounding with intent and three charges of cruelty to three children.

The defendant, originally from West Africa but now of south London, would also use the stick from a McDonald's balloon or a cane to hit his other children, the court heard.

'Egging them on'

The nine-year-old girl, who the court heard could not recall the identity of the cutter or whether they were male or female, said she had begged for it to stop.

"It bled a lot at the time but her father would not listen," prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said.

"She was told to be quiet and keep still. She had been crying and begging. He simply encouraged the person to keep on doing it, egging them on."

Mr Heywood added: "This was not out of any cultural or family reason but more in the way of punishment."

The girl told the court she had not been given any painkillers and had bled a lot.

The second occasion happened after she had healed from the first and in the same way, at home when the rest of her family were away.

The court heard the defendant was "harsh and cruel" in his treatment of his children and had singled out his eldest daughter for physical punishment.

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