Doctor avoids prosecution over circumcision on three-month-old baby ‘without consent’

Dr Balvinder Mehat may have faced a conviction for assault had he known the mother, 26, had not agreed to the procedure, say prosecutors

Jeff Farrell
Friday 10 November 2017 20:39
The woman has vowed to fight on to bring charges against Dr Mehat, who did the procedure in Bakersfield Medical Centre in Nottingham only with the consent of the father
The woman has vowed to fight on to bring charges against Dr Mehat, who did the procedure in Bakersfield Medical Centre in Nottingham only with the consent of the father

A doctor who circumcised a baby boy without his mother’s consent will not be prosecuted – after the GP told police he believed the woman had agreed to the operation.

Dr Balvinder Mehat may have faced a conviction for assault had he known the woman, 26, did not approve of the procedure for the three-month old infant, prosecutors said.

Dr Mehat performed the minor surgery in Bakersfield Medical Centre in Nottingham while the child was in the care of his father, who was separated from the mother.

The woman, who was not named, believes her son was “mutilated and suffered permanent damage” because of the circumcision, legal papers show, and has vowed to continue the legal fight on the youngster's behalf.

Saimo Chahal QC, a human rights lawyer, is appealing the "flawed and irrational" decision. The procedure on a boy is generally considered lawful if there is valid consent, such as from the parents.

Dr Mehat is due to appear before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service where officials will rule whether he is fit to practise in his profession.

The Crown Prosecution Service explained to the mother in a letter why they would not be pursuing him over any criminal charges.

It said he "may have failed in his professional obligations to discuss the issue of consent with you", according to the document, which was seen by the BBC, but "that in itself is not sufficient for there to be a criminal prosecution".

The baby, who is not named, was circumcised in July 2013 and his mother later contacted social services and the police after she discovered that the infant had had the minor surgery.

Both the woman and the child’s father were arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, but were released without charge.

The 26-year-old woman said in legal documents that the child was in obvious pain when he was returned to her after he had the procedure done while in the care of his father’s mother.

“He was screaming and crying, but trying to comfort him just disturbed the wound and made it worse," she said during the investigation. "I could not believe what they had done to him. He has been mutilated and suffered permanent damage.”

She vowed to fight on after prosecutors revealed they would not pursue any criminal charges against Dr Mehat over the circumcision on her child.

"I'm sure any mother would feel the same about not giving up, after witnessing their child suffer unnecessarily,” she said in a statement reported. “I will fight this until my last breath if I have to, it's the only way I can possibly look my son in his eyes. I feel I have failed him."

Ms Chahal QC is calling on prosecutors to review their decision within 14 days or the mother will take her matter directly to court officials.

Ms Chahal told the BBC: "The decision lacks any semblance of a considered and reasoned decision and is flawed and irrational."

Dr Mehat has not commented since the ruling by prosecutors. The CPS has also not commented.