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Father-of-six accused of 'crude' circumcision on 10-month-old

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Philip Ogbewe

Philip Ogbewe

Philip Ogbewe

A father-of-six has been accused of carrying out a "crude" circumcision on a baby boy who had to be hospitalised and was "lucky to be alive."

It is alleged that Philip Ogbewe (54), calling himself "Dr Philip" but with no medical training, injured the 10-month-old baby while performing a home circumcision with a surgical blade.

He was refused bail at Dublin District Court after gardai objected.

Mr Ogbewe, a Nigerian national of Greenlanes, Drogheda, Co Louth, is charged with assault causing harm at an address in the midlands on a date in December 2015.

Gda Sgt Paul Carney told Judge John Coughlan that when charged, Mr Ogbewe replied: "I am sorry I committed such an offence."

Blades

Objecting to bail, Sgt Carney said it was alleged that the accused performed the circumcision at the child's home.

The infant required surgical intervention at Mullingar and Crumlin hospitals to correct the bleed and received a blood transfusion.

Surgical blades, Vaseline and cotton wool were found in Mr Ogbewe's possession and seized, along with a mobile phone that had the number used by the alleged victim's mother to contact the accused before and after the circumcision, Sgt Carney said.

Mr Ogbewe had lived in Ireland for 20 years and had three children with his current partner and three more with his ex-wife, his lawyer Niall Flynn said, applying for bail.

Gardai had no evidence that he would flee if granted bail, Mr Flynn said. The accused was presumed innocent.

"The child in question is very lucky to be alive due to intervention at Mullingar Hospital," Sgt Carney said.

Mr Flynn said that if granted bail, Mr Ogbewe would undertake not to perform any circumcisions or contact any witnesses and had co-operated with gardai.

Sgt Carney agreed there was never any manhunt or search to source the accused's location.

Mr Flynn accepted it was a "very sinister alleged offence", but said the accused was in the country 20 years and was prepared to abide by strict bail conditions.

Judge Coughlan refused bail and, granting legal aid, said it was a "unique, very unusual case and a very serious case".

The court heard the offence carried a maximum potential sentence of five years on conviction and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was considering further serious charges.

The accused has not yet indicated a plea.


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