Brent Council hopes a landmark female genital mutilation (FGM) case will “deter” more people from committing such a “hideous” act.

A Ugandan woman from Walthamstow was the first person in the UK to be convicted of the crime after she was found guilty last week of cutting her three-year-old daughter.

Cllr Krupesh Hirani, responsible for public health at Brent Council, said this incident will hopefully pave the way for further prosecutions surrounding female genital mutilation.

He said: “Brent has been calling for stronger action on FGM for many years and I welcome this conviction.

“FGM is a violent and hideous act that has a devastating physical and emotional impact on women and girls subjected to it.

“I hope that this conviction will deter people from committing this horrific act.”

The defendants – the mother and her Ghanaian partner – were accused of “deliberate cutting with a sharp instrument” but claimed the girl had sliced herself on a kitchen cupboard while reaching for a biscuit.

When police searched their home while they were on bail, they found evidence of ‘witchcraft’ aimed at silencing investigators.

This included spells written inside 40 frozen limes and two ox tongues with screws embedded in them.

The mother, 37, was found guilty of female genital mutilation while her partner, 43, was cleared of all charges.

FGM has been illegal in the UK for more than 30 years, but this is the first time prosecutors have secured a conviction.

According to City University, there are around 137,000 women and girls living in England and Wales who have suffered FGM.

The Home Office says women from countries including Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Nigeria are particularly at risk.