The first prosecution of FGM in the UK is happening at Southwark Crown Court.
A British doctor performed female genital mutilation on a young mother after she gave birth in hospital, a court has heard.
Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, is accused of carrying out the illegal procedure at the Whittington Hospital in north London.
The junior registrar, of Ilford, Essex, denies the charge in what is the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.
A second man, Hasan Mohamed, 41, denies encouraging and abetting the offence.
The mother-of-two, who cannot be identified, first underwent FGM aged six in Somalia, London’s Southwark Crown Court heard.
She was 24 and living in Britain when she give birth to her first child in November 2012.
The court heard that during labour, her FGM stitches were torn and Dr Dharmasena, a junior registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology, sewed her back up in a procedure that amounted to FGM.
The prosecution alleges the doctor did so at Mr Mohamed’s “insistence or encouragement”.
Confusingly, the BBC neglects to tell us what Mr Mohamed was doing there and why the doctor paid any attention to him. Is he the woman’s husband, father, brother, imam, block captain? Whoever he is, if he was insisting the doctor re-mutilate the patient, that’s…gross.
The hospital trust launched an investigation into the incident within a few weeks.
In a statement, Dr Dharmasena said he had carried out the procedure because he thought the woman wanted him to. He also said Mr Mohamed had urged him to do so.
He said: “At no point in time did I intentionally or deliberately want to cause any harm to the patient. I had obeyed all of the patient’s wishes.”
Hospitals must have clear rules in place by this time. It doesn’t seem possible that a doctor could just not know that it’s not ok to sew a woman’s genitalia closed.