The estranged couple allegedly asked a “witch” to take a scalpel to the young girl, and then tried to cover up the botched procedure with homemade curses.
They are accused of buying mineral alum online in order to cast the spells, putting the names of police officers, doctors and social workers inside 40 limes so they would “shut up” and “freeze their mouths”.
“The morning after their child was mutilated, this pair are discussing preparing a curse or spell to silence the police, the doctors, and everyone,” said Caroline Carberry QC, prosecuting.
Jurors heard the parents, who cannot be named to protect the identity of their daughter, allegedly got an older woman to carry out the mutilation on August 28, 2017.
When the girl had sustained “significant” blood loss, they took her to hospital for emergency treatment. But the parents claimed she had been accidentally injured falling on to a kitchen cupboard door while “trying to get some biscuits”.
Ms Carberry said the girl was later taken into foster care and revealed that she had been told to lie about how she was injured. “She told her foster carer that a woman cut her while her parents held her,” she said. “She told her foster carer that her parents had told her to say that she had fallen.
“She later told police that her parents called this woman a ‘witch’ and that her parents held her while the witch cut her.”
Ms Carberry added that evidence will be heard that the parents “had an interest in and were active in preparation of spells, curses, and witchcraft”.
She said that while their daughter lay in a hospital bed they were discussing the purchase of alum and concocting spells.
The mother issued instructions to the father, directing him to lemons, limes and rice at home and telling him to “put the police and doctors inside”, the prosecutor said.
When questioned by police, the mother said her daughter was in the kitchen at home when she “heard screaming and claimed that her daughter climbed on a cupboard to get biscuits and fell”.
However, Ms Carberry told the jury forensic experts did not find any traces of blood in the kitchen or on the cupboard door, and medical experts had “comprehensively rejected” the accidental injury story.
Both defendants, from north-east London, deny female genital mutilation and a charge of failing to protect a girl from the risk of genital mutilation.