Female genital mutilation trial: Clayhall doctor ‘hung out to dry’ by hospital

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

A doctor accused of carrying out female genital mutilation on a young mother has “been hung out to dry and made a scapegoat” by his hospital, a court heard on Wednesday.

Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, of Rushden Gardens, Clayhall, allegedly illegally stitched the woman back up after she gave birth in November 2012 – re-doing the FGM she had she had as a six year-old in Somalia.

Dharmasena denies the charge against him.

The court has heard the Whittington Hospital failed to put the woman, known as AB, on the ‘FGM pathway’ and give her specialist care.

On Wednesday, Dharmasena’s defence team said he is “paying the ultimate price” for failings at the hospital in Archway.


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Closing her case, Zoe Johnson QC, representing Dharmasena, said: “We do suggest that Dr Dharmasena has been hung out to dry and made a scapegoat for the Whittington Hospital and their failings.

“You might think he has been badly let down through this long and sorry saga.”

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Dharmasena is standing trial for FGM in the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.

But Ms Johnson said the senior registrar in gynaecology and obstetrics is a man of “honesty and integrity” who has not broken the law.

She said the failure by the Whittington to place the woman on the FGM pathway was “the root cause” of the case.

She said: “She should have been referred to a specialist FGM midwife. She was not. That was a serious failure.”

She said that AB was not the only woman who had suffered FGM but not sent down the specialist pathway.

Earlier prosecutor Kate Bex claimed the doctor had bowed to pressure and stitched the woman back up to her “pre-delivery state”.

This amounted to FGM, jurors heard.

Dharmasena denies female genital mutilation.

Another man denies one count of abetting the offence and another alternative count of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.

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