Female genital mutilation trial hears no blood found on toy accused couple say caused injury

Female genital mutilation trial hears no blood found on toy accused couple say caused injury

The trial of a couple accused of the female genital mutilation of their daughter has heard that no blood was found on the toy which the accused said caused the injury to the child when she fell on it.

The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of carrying out an act of female genital mutilation on a then one-year-old girl at an address in Dublin on September 16, 2016.

The 37-year-old man and 27-year-old woman also pleaded not guilty to one count of child cruelty on the same day.

Dr John Hoade told Shane Costelloe SC, prosecuting, that he works in the DNA section of Forensic Science Ireland as a scientist. He said his job is to look for blood on exhibits submitted to the laboratory and to do DNA profiling of the blood.

Dr Hoade said he attended along with gardaí at the address of the two accused on September 23, 2016. He said that on arriving to the address an area was pointed out on the carpet and it was suggested that it had been cleaned.

He said that he did not observe blood on the surface of the carpet, but after lifting the carpet he did observe light blood staining underneath on the underside and on the underlay. He said he asked for the areas of blood staining to be cut out for examination.

Dr Hoade said the DNA profile from the sample of blood found on the underlay matched that of the complainant. He said he estimated the chance of finding this profile if the DNA had come from someone unrelated to her as being “considerably less than one in a thousand million”.

He said that he also examined a child's toy found at the address. The jury heard earlier in the trial that the accused man gave an explanation that the child's injury was caused by her falling on this toy.

“I found no blood on the toy,” Dr Hoade said.

Dr Hoade agreed with Colman Fitzgerald SC, defending the accused man, that he also examined other items from the address such as knives, scissors and multi purpose tools. He agreed that he did not find blood on any of these items.

The trial continues tomorrow when legal argument will he heard before Judge Elma Sheahan. The jury are expected to return on Monday of next week.

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