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First prosecutions for FGM announced by Crown Prosecution Service

The Director of Public Prosecutions has announced the first ever prosecutions under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.

Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, said:

"The Crown Prosecution Service was asked to consider evidence in relation to this allegation of female genital mutilation (FGM) by the Metropolitan Police Service. It was alleged that following a patient giving birth in November 2012, a doctor at the Whittington Hospital, in London, repaired FGM that had previously been performed on the patient, allegedly carrying out FGM himself.

"Having carefully considered all the available evidence, I have determined there is sufficient evidence and it would be in the public interest to prosecute Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena for an offence contrary to S1 (1) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003).

"I have also determined that Hasan Mohamed should face one charge of intentionally encouraging an offence of FGM, contrary to section 44(1) of the Serious Crime Act (2007), and a second charge of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Dr Dharmasena to commit an offence contrary to S1 (1) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003).

"These decisions were taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors."

The CPS has also reached a decision in one other new case and in relation to three of the four cases being re-reviewed by the CPS, following previous decisions to take no further action.

After careful consideration of all the available evidence and other potential further lines of inquiry, the CPS has determined there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate a realistic prospect of conviction and that no further action should be taken in relation to these four cases.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been a specific criminal offence in England and Wales since 1985 when the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 was passed. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 repealed and replaced the 1985 Act in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also made it an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal. The maximum penalty was also increased from 5 years to 14 years imprisonment.

24/3/14