Mother gives evidence in female genital mutilation trial

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A mother who allegedly had female genital mutilation performed on her by a doctor at the Whittington Hospital has condemned the practice while giving evidence in court.

The 26-year-old woman, identified only as AB, first underwent female circumcision aged six in Somalia.

She is now pregnant with her third child, a jury at London’s Southwark Crown Court was told.

Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, of Rushden Gardens, is accused of carrying out the illegal procedure in November 2012 at Whittington Hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archaway, the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.

Barrister Edmund Vickers, representing Hasan Mohamed who is accused of abetting the offence, asked her: “You are an adult now. What is your view of the practice of female circumcision?”

She replied: “It is wrong.”

Mr Vickers asked her: “If your third child is a daughter would you wish your daughter to be circumcised?”

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She replied: “Never.”

Dharmasena denies one count of female genital mutilation.

A 41-year-old man is also facing one count of abetting Dharmasena in committing the offence.

He faces an alternative count of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.

He denies both counts.

The woman said there had “never” been any encouragement for her FGM to be reinstituted.

She said: “The doctor was delivering my baby and I did not think he was doing anything other than that.”

Prosecutor Kate Bex asked AB if she saw or felt she had any stitches in an area where she had been circumcised.

AB said: “At the top part, yes”.

When asked by Ms Bex to explain why she would not want a daughter of hers to be circumcised, AB replied: “It is not a good thing.

“It is very difficult and birth-wise it is a very difficult thing.

“It causes a lot of problems. It is not something good. It is a cultural thing. It is not good.”

The hearing was adjourned until Monday.