'My son was circumcised without my consent'

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The mother said she “felt hysterical” and had to leave the room after opening her son’s nappy (stock image)

A mother has described the distress of discovering her baby son had been circumcised without her consent.

The woman, from Nottingham, said she opened her son’s nappy to find him covered in blood – and was so distraught she had to leave the room.

She has battled for four years for authorities to take action.

Three people have now been arrested, including a 61-year-old man – thought to be a doctor – on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent.

“I opened the nappy and I ended up having to leave the room because I felt hysterical,” said the mother, who did not want to be identified.

“It was just awful really, it wasn’t very nice, there was all blood there and stuff.”

‘Boys not protected’

The boy was circumcised in July 2013 when he was three months old, and apparently staying with his paternal grandparents, who are Muslim.

His mother originally contacted social services, then contacted Nottinghamshire Police on 24 November 2014.

There was an investigation but the force deemed it not to be a criminal matter, and the case was referred to the General Medical Council.

The mother later got help from the anti-circumcision group Men Do Complain and leading human rights lawyer Saimo Chahal QC, who wrote to Nottinghamshire Police.

Male circumcision is legal in the UK if both parents consent.

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Police reopened the investigation after human rights lawyer Saimo Chahal QC wrote to them

However, the mother believes it amounts to MGM or “male genital mutilation”, and should be viewed in the same way as female genital mutilation (FGM).

“It’s even illegal to dock dogs’ tails. I’ve come home crying my eyes out thinking a dog has got more rights than my child.

“There’s something seriously not right with it all. You can protect a dog, you can protect a girl, but not a boy.”

After the letter from Ms Chahal, police reopened the investigation and arrested three suspects, including the 61-year-old man, on 21 June.

The other two suspects are a 44-year-old man and a woman, aged 47, who have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm.

‘Half circumcised’

Police said all three suspects had been released pending further investigation.

In the years since the circumcision, the mother said her son has suffered from recurring infections, and his penis regularly becomes inflamed and sore.

“It looks like he’s been half circumcised is the only way to describe it. There’s half the skin, it’s not all the way over.

“It swells up, it gets red and a little bit sore in places.”

The boy’s mother said the circumcision has affected her, as well as her son.

“As a new mum I didn’t know what I was doing with a baby anyway, but now I had that added worry on my mind,” she said.

“I was really upset about it. It didn’t really get much better from there, it’s just been ongoing really.”

She said a lot of people have failed to empathise with her and her son.

“Even a couple of police officers have made remarks like ‘Oh my husband is circumcised, I think it’s better’. Or ‘Oh they are tougher than they look, it will toughen him up’. It’s just silly little comments like that. it’s just heartbreaking.

“I wrote to MPs and they basically shoved me off. Everybody you speak to it’s like speaking to a brick wall.”

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The mother supports a global movement against circumcision, and hopes her son’s case will raise awareness

The mother said she is relieved that action is finally being taken, and hopes the case will raise awareness.

“I just can’t believe that we’ve actually got to this point now and it’s taken four years,” said the mother.

“Nobody was listening when I spoke about it and now it’s being acknowledged worldwide.

“If anything good can come of what’s happened to my son it’s raising a little bit more awareness to the suffering that comes, and giving people that are thinking of circumcising their children a bit of understanding about what they are doing.”

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