Circumcision was 'a barbaric act of cruelty': Man pleads guilty to endangering the life of a Longford baby

Man known as Dr Philip said he has been performing circumcisions since he was a teenager

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

Circumcision was 'a barbaric act of cruelty': Man pleads guilty to endangering the life of a Longford baby

Judge Keenan Johnson yesterday afternoon labelled the crude circumcision of a ten-month-old baby a "barbaric act of cruelty" after hearing evidence against the man who had carried out the procedure.

Philip Ogbewe, Green Lanes, Drogheda, Co Louth, appeared at Longford Circuit Court yesterday charged with "intentionally and recklessly" engaging in misconduct, namely the circumcision of a young Longford boy, and falsely representing to be a medical practitioner.

Mr Ogbewe, who called himself Dr Philip, and has been performing circumcisions since he was 14 or 15, pleaded guilty to the count of endangerment, but it was the case of the defence that he never told the mother of the child that he was a registered doctor.

The court heard that, on December 4,  2015, Mr Ogbewe, who is originally from Nigeria, but has been living in Ireland for 20 years, performed the cultural circumcision on a ten-month-old baby, without anaesthetic, while the child was being held down.

Later, the mother noticed a lot of blood in the baby's nappy and he was rushed to hospital, where he was cared for. He later made a full recovery but his parents, who thought Mr Ogbewe was a doctor, took action against the former grocer and fridge technician.

“It is a barbaric act of cruelty, there is no question about it, on a 10-month old, even allowing for cultural norms,” said Judge Keenan Johnson, having heard the evidence.

For the full report, see next week's Longford Leader.