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FGM accused had 'spells and curses in freezer'

The Old Bailey Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A Ugandan woman, 37, and Ghanaian man, 43, from east London, are on trial at the Old Bailey

Spells and curses aimed at police officers were discovered at the home of a mother accused of the female genital mutilation (FGM) of her three-year-old girl, a court has heard.

A Ugandan woman, 37, and Ghanaian man, 43, from east London, are each charged with FGM and failing to protect a girl from risk of genital mutilation.

The couple, who deny the allegations, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The mother has an interest in witchcraft, the Old Bailey heard.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry QC said evidence of spells and curses were found in the mother's freezer when police searched her home in November 2017.

'Freeze their mouths'

She said: "Two cow tongues were bound in wire with nails and a small blunt knife also embedded in them, 40 limes were found and other fruit which when opened contained pieces of paper with names on them.

"The names embedded included both police officers involved in the investigation of the case, the social worker, her own son and the then director of public prosecutions.

"These people were to 'shut up' and 'freeze their mouths'".

Highlighting WhatsApp messages between the parents after the alleged FGM, Ms Carberry said the pair were discussing casting a spell to "silence the police and the doctors".

Jurors heard that the child, now aged five, later told a foster carer that a woman had cut her as she was held down by her parents.

'Cut with scalpel'

The woman claimed the girl "fell on metal and it's ripped her private parts" after she had climbed to get a biscuit, and told a police officer her daughter was not wearing underwear when it happened.

But Ms Carberry told the court the girl had been subjected to FGM at her mother's home in the presence of her father, who lived nearby.

The child was taken to Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone, where she "lost a significant amount of blood as a result of the injuries they had delivered and inflicted on her", the court heard.

During an operation, a consultant surgeon "found three separate sites of injury", as well as "no bruising or swelling" of her genitals or thighs, and holds the opinion she was probably cut with a scalpel, Ms Carberry said.

The trial continues.

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