Queensland mum jailed after taking daughters overseas for genital mutilation

A Queensland mum who took her two daughters to Somalia for genital mutilation has been sentenced to four years in prison.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identities of her children, is the first person to be sentenced in Queensland for removing a child from the state for female genital mutilation.

She was found guilty of taking her daughters, then aged 10 and 13, to her birth country in April 2015 for the procedure, and will have her sentence suspended after eight months.

The trial heard the girls had no idea the surgery was going to be carried out until they were called inside while playing at their grandmother’s house.

They were conscious and unsedated throughout the process, which caused pain for days.

Their stepsister tipped off child safety services when they returned to their home in the Logan area several months later.

The mother denied any involvement in the procedure, and told police whatever had happened to the girls was “from God”.

The court heard she had endured a similar procedure when she was a child.

A pediatrician gave evidence there was no therapeutic reason for the operation.

The mother, who has cancer and back problems, will be sentenced in the Brisbane District Court by Justice Leanne Clare.