A young mother tried to pay a horrified Australian doctor to mutilate her newborn baby girl to keep up a barbaric family tradition after Covid border closures blocked her from flying back to Singapore.
Sabrina Lightbody, 24, and her grandmother Norida Binte Mohd, 51, offered a Perth doctor cash to carry out what they called ‘a gift to God’.
The procedure would have seen the doctor perform surgery on the baby’s genitalia
Mohd had the procedure performed on her when she was an infant and had the same done to Lightbody soon after she was born.
Young mother Sabrina Lightbody (pictured here with her baby daughter) dodged jail after she begged her local GP to mutilate her newborn baby girl to keep up a barbaric family tradition
Singapore-born Sabrina Lightbody, 24, and her mother Norida Binte Mohd, 51, (pictured outside court) offered a Perth doctor cash to carry out what they called ‘a gift to God’
In Malaysia and Singapore, families use local GPs to carry out the mutilation, but the procedure is illegal throughout Australia.
Families have been known to fly back to Asia from Australia to have the mutilation carried out, but Covid restrictions have limited international flights.
In January, Lightbody and Mohd tracked down a doctor with Malaysian heritage in the hope she would understand the culture enough to perform the circumcision.
The GP initially tried to stop the pair by saying it would not be covered by Medicare, but when the family then offered to pay cash, the doctor refused.
The child’s horrified Australian-born father found out later the same day and raised the alarm.
Lightbody was said to have been pushed by her mother to carry it out on the child (pictured) soon after she was born in January 2021
Western Australia District Court (pictured) heard the practice was common in parts of south-east Asia where it is considered ‘a sacrifice to god, a gift to God’
The mother and grandmother were arrested and pleaded guilty at Western Australia District Court to conspiring to perform female genital mutilation.
The court heard the practice was common in parts of Africa, the Middle East and south-east Asia where it is considered ‘a sacrifice to god, a gift to God.’
Lightbody was said to have been pushed by her mother to carry it out on the child soon after she was born in January 2021.
But Judge Alan Troy told Lightbody: ‘I cannot regard this practice as ‘a gift to God’.
‘You failed to understand the potential harm that might cause your daughter and the reason why this practice is illegal in Australia and in other parts of the world.
More extreme forms of female circumcision include the complete removal of the clitoris, labia and partially stitching up the vagina and it outlawed in many countries (pictured, a sign warning against the mutilation in Uganda)
In many countries the practice is often performed by people without any medical training, causing lifelong injury (pictured, a tool of the kind often used in backstreet operations)
‘There is little to suggest that you do not love your daughter and that you wanted to protect her.
‘But your decision was misguided because you put your mother’s beliefs ahead of your daughter’s health and welfare.’
Trainee hairdresser Lightbody was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and Mohd’s 15 months sentence was also suspended for 12 months.
The judge said he had shown mercy because the mutilation was at the lower end of the World Health Organisation guidelines and they pair had pled guilty early in the case.
The judge said he was convinced both mother and daughter could now be trusted.