Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LONDON DOCTOR CHARGED IN FIRST FGM CASE; TWO MEN FACE LANDMARK UK PROSECUTION AFTER WOMAN IS MUTILATED AT HOSPITAL; FGM 'Carried out on Mother in Hospital after She Gave Birth'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

LONDON DOCTOR CHARGED IN FIRST FGM CASE; TWO MEN FACE LANDMARK UK PROSECUTION AFTER WOMAN IS MUTILATED AT HOSPITAL; FGM 'Carried out on Mother in Hospital after She Gave Birth'

Article excerpt

Byline: Martin Bentham Home Affairs Editor

THE first British charges for female genital mutilation were announced today in a landmark decision by Britain's top prosecutor.

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders said two people, one a doctor, will appear in court accused of carrying out the crime against a woman at Whittington Hospital, London, in November 2012. Those charged are Dr Dhanoun Dharmasena, 31, of Ilford, accused of carrying out the mutilation, and Hasan Mohamed, 40, of London, who allegedly aided and abetted the crime.

Today's historic announcement is the first time that criminal action has been taken against an alleged perpetrator since FGM was made illegal in 1985. No action will be taken in four other cases, however, after legal obstacles to prosecution proved too great. Despite that, today's move will delight activists. It follows intensive efforts by the Met and a high-profile publicity campaign, led by the Evening Standard, that have seen a surge in cases referred to prosecutors.

Announcing today's decision, Ms Saunders said: "The Crown Prosecution Service was asked by the Metropolitan Police Service to consider evidence in relation to this allegation of female genital mutilation.

"It was alleged that following a patient giving birth in November 2012, a doctor at the Whittington Hospital repaired FGM that was previously performed on the patient, allegedly carrying out FGM himself.

"Having carefully considered all the available evidence I have determined there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute Dr Dhanoun Dharmasena for an offence contrary to section 1 (1) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act.

"I have also determined that Hasan Mohamed should face one charge of intentionally encouraging an offence of FGM, contrary to section 44(1) of the Serious Crime Act, and a charge of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Dr Dharmasena to commit an offence contrary to section1 (1) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act. …

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