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Second FGM prosecution fails

Solicitor cleared of FGM of nine-year-old daughter

A solicitor has been cleared of arranging female genital mutilation on his daughter when she was nine. The defendant was accused of beating his children and organising for FGM to be carried out on his daughter on two occasions. At the trial at the Old Bailey in London he denied the charges against him and said he had never threatened to have his daughter cut.

According to the court report in The Guardian, the defendant, giving evidence, said: "I have never used any implement on any of my children. I have never used my hand to hit them."

The jury, after deliberating for more than six hours, found the defendant not guilty of two counts of FGM, two alternative counts of wounding with intent and three counts of cruelty to a child.

This is only the second prosecution to be brought under FGM legislation. In February a man from Bristol charged with an FGM-related child cruelty offence was acquitted following a ruling by the trial judge at Bristol Crown Court. Ordering that the accused be found not guilty of child cruelty, His Honour Judge Lambert criticised aspects of the case against the man which he described as "deeply troubling".

For The Guardian's report of the later case, click here.