32 year old Dr. Dhanuson Dharmasena of the Whittington Hospital has been found not guilty of being involved in female genital mutilation by a jury at Southwark Crown Court after less than half an hour of deliberation.
He was accused of re-doing FGM on a mother after she gave birth.
His defence QC Zoe Johnson said her client had been ‘hung out to dry and made a scapegoat’ for hospital failings.
Another man was cleared of abetting the offence.
Dr Dharmasena said:
I am extremely relieved with the court’s verdict and I am grateful to the jury for their careful consideration of the facts. I have always maintained that FGM is an abhorrent practice that has no medical justification; however I cannot comment further on the details of this case due to patient confidentiality. I would like to thank my family, friends, legal team and all those who supported me through this difficult time and I look forward to putting this matter behind me.
His solicitor Ali Hussain said Dr. Dharmasena had been subject to a ‘show trial’:
He should not have been prosecuted and the jury’s verdict confirms what he has always said – that he did nothing wrong. My client has suffered months of stress and the humiliation and lost precious time with his two young children.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) welcomed the verdict.
The CPS has defended its decision to bring the prosecution.
Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said:
Female genital mutilation is an invidious crime, and one which we remain determined to prosecute. Today’s verdict will not stop the important work that we and the police are doing in encouraging victims to come forward and looking at new ways to help bring cases to court.