A statue of Themis, the Greek god of justice, outside Brisbane Supreme Court
A statue of Themis, the Greek god of justice, outside Brisbane Supreme Court

Female genital mutilation: Qld mum found guilty

A SOMALI mother has been found guilty by a jury of taking her two children from Queensland to Africa for genital mutilation surgery in 2016.

She will be sentenced at a later date.

The court heard the mother has cancer and medical material would need to be obtained prior to the sentencing hearing.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children was on trial in the Brisbane District Court for flying to Somalia, via Kenya, with her two daughters in April 2015 and forcing them to undergo the non-medical procedure without any pain relief at their grandmother's home.

She pleaded not guilty to two counts of removing children from Queensland to undergo genital mutilation.

The court was earlier this week told the children, who were both born in Australia, were playing outside their family home in Somalia with their friends shortly after their arrival in the African nation, when they were told a female doctor had arrived to undertake a procedure on them.

Crown Prosecutor Dejana Kovac told the court during her opening address on Monday the younger of the two girls later told police she "didn't know what was done to her because she wasn't looking".

The court heard the 12-year-old girl wasn't sedated during the invasive procedure and fell asleep shortly afterwards.

The nine-year-old girl later told Child Safety officers she "was awake when it happened and in pain", the court was told.

Ms Kovac told the court the procedure, which involves partial or total removal of the female clitoris, was done for a "non-medical reason".

"It was done all in one day and without their (the girls) prior knowledge," Ms Kovac told the court.

"The procedure was done not long after arriving so they could recover before coming back to Australia."

Ms Kovac earlier told the court Queensland law makes it illegal to take children overseas for the invasive procedure "no matter who you are, where you are from, or what you believe".

Pediatrician Ryan Mills, who examined the girls, told the court the flattening of their clitoral hoods and discolouration of associated skin was abnormal and unlikely to be a natural variation.

"(The abnormalities) could be explained or are consistent with, in medical terms, genital mutilation," he told the court yesterday.

He said there was no therapeutic reason for the procedure, which would have been painful and may cause long-term health issues.