A hospital doctor has been acquitted of carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) on a patient, in the first prosecution since the practice was outlawed in England and Wales 29 years ago.

A jury took less than 30 minutes to find Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, not guilty of subjecting a mother to FGM after he delivered her baby. A second man, Hasan Mohamed, 41, was also found not guilty of aiding and abetting the doctor.

Dharmasena was charged with committing FGM by stitching up the mother following the birth of her first child at the Whittington hospital in London in November 2012. He said he had sutured her with a single stitch to stop her bleeding from an incision required for childbirth, because she had previously been subjected to FGM in her native Somalia.

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