Photo Credits: Momtastic
Martina Obi-Uzom, a babysitter and a pharmacist who posed as the mother of an 11-month-old boy so he could be circumcised without his parents' consent in 2017 has been spared jail. Martina, 70, was the boy’s babysitter while his parents were away over the weekend of September 2 to 3, 2017.
According to the Daily Mail, she used the opportunity to travel to London and employ the skills of a Jewish mohel — a Jew trained in the practice of circumcision. The woman also knew the baby's mother did not want her baby circumcised. That’s why Obi-Uzom posed as baby’s mother and recruited a guy to act as his father.
Two years after the case happened, Martina Obi-Uzom was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to an 11-month-old baby boy. The problem is that Obi-Uzom will not go to jail. She was given a light punishment compared to the damage that she caused to the innocent child. The woman was given a suspended sentence of 14 months. She was also ordered to pay costs of £1,500 and a £140 victim surcharge, which seems paltry compensation for amputating part of a person's genitals without consent or medical need. For example, last month a man was awarded £20,000 for being circumcised by mistake at Leicester General Hospital.
Judge Freya Newbery told her: ‘You have a Christian belief in circumcision that has great cultural and religious significance to you… The judge added that ‘there was no parental consent’ however, and ‘that is what is missing here. She also said the "circumstances" meant she decided to suspend the sentence. The judge said she accepted that Obi-Uzom's intention "wasn't to harm the boy" and that she was of "impeccable character." She also said she was a "professional person" and "highly qualified."
National Secular Society concludes:
It will strike many people as bizarre to hear that a woman who took a baby in her care to have his genitals cut in defiance of his mother's wishes, and used highly deceitful means to do this, was described by the judge to have "impeccable character."
Obi-Uzom is 70 years old. Her visibly advanced age should have at least rung alarm bells for the mohel because it would be highly unlikely for a woman of her age to have had a baby. Why did he accept her as the mother with no questions asked?
There are more people to be questioned and sentenced here, not only the pharmacist. The man who posed as the baby’s father should bear the consequences and certainly the mohel who did the procedure. This is another example where religious beliefs can really endanger the lives of children.