A married couple has been jailed after being convicted of the female genital mutilation of their daughter. The 37 year old man and a 27 year old woman both pleaded NOT guilty to the offence against their child who was one at the time, at an address in Dublin in September 2016.
On the 16th of Septemeber 2016, the 37 year old man brought his daughter who was bleeding from her perineal region to hospital and claimed her injuries were as a result of her falling on a toy. Medical experts didn’t believe the explanation was credible and Gardaí were notified.
The toy claimed to be responsible for inflicting the injury was seized but no blood was found on the item following a forensic analysis. The man and woman – who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child – also pleaded not guilty to one count of child cruelty on the same day.
On the eighth day of the trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdicts of guilty on all counts. Passsing sentence today, Judge Elma Sheahan sentenced the man to five and a half years imprisonment, and the woman to four years and nine months.
Speaking today after the 1st conviction and sentencing for the Offence of Female Genital Mutilation Detective Chief Superintendent Declan Daly, Garda National Protective Services Bureau said
“Today’s conviction and sentence represents the first of its kind in Ireland. It sends a strong and important message that Female Genital Mutilation, the mutilation of children and young girls, is not and will not be tolerated. It is a heinous and barbaric practice which is a criminal offence in Ireland.
Ireland has a long and proud history of embracing traditions and customs from abroad, however there can be no ‘welcome’ for any activity which brings harm to children.
Our communities need to be vigilant and aware of this crime and anyone who suspects or believes a child is likely to be subject to Female Genital Mutilation either here or being brought outside the country for the purpose of Female Genital Mutilation, to contact their local Garda station, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or call the Child Abuse Reporting line on – 1800 555 222.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an offence contrary to the Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012