A woman who handed over a three-year-old British girl for female genital mutilation (FGM) during a trip to Kenya has lost an appeal bid to reduce her sentence. 

Amina Noor, 40, was jailed for seven years in February after she was convicted for assisting a non-UK person to carry out the procedure 18 years ago. 

She became the first person to be convicted of taking someone to another country for FGM.  

In 2006, when Noor was 22, she travelled to Kenya with the toddler and took her to a private house where the girl was subjected to FGM, resulting in the total removal of the child’s clitoris. 

The crime only came to light over a decade later when the girl – known by the pseudonym Jade – was 16 and confided in a teacher at school. 

At her Old Bailey trial, Noor said she was threatened with being “cursed” and “disowned” within her community if she did not take part. 

She described what had been done to the girl as “Sunnah”, meaning “tradition” or “way” in Arabic, and said it was a practice that had gone on for cultural reasons for many years. 

Noor made a Court of Appeal bid to challenge her sentence, with her lawyers arguing that the sentencing judge had failed to consider her mitigation properly and had failed to understand the cultural context in which she had gone to the so-called “clinic” with Jade. 

But in a judgment on Thursday (July 4), three judges dismissed the appeal. 

Lord Justice William Davis, sitting with Mrs Justice Cockerill and Mr Justice Linden, said Jade “was a three-year-old far from home when she was mutilated”. 

He continued: “Whatever the background to the removal of Jade’s clitoris, it was done deliberately. 

“It is not arguable that removal of the clitoris from a child can be anything other than really serious harm. 

“Thus, the FGM to which Jade was subjected amounted to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.” 

The appeal judge also said that a prison sentence “could not have been avoided here” and rejected the argument that the sentencing judge did not properly factor in the cultural context. 

Lord Justice Davis said: “FGM almost by definition is an offence committed within particular cultures. 

“We are clear that the fact that FGM is considered appropriate within such cultures can be of no relevance to the seriousness of the offence. 

“The practice is criminalised by UK law.” 

The judge added that Parliament had set the maximum sentence for the crime as 14 years in prison. 

He continued: “It was envisaged that substantial sentences would be imposed notwithstanding the cultural context. 

“The overriding concern was the damage caused by the practice of FGM.” 

The judge later added that the sentencing judge made a “relatively insignificant error” which meant the sentence was “marginally longer” than it would have been, but that the eventual sentence was not “manifestly excessive”.