Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dad on trial for "bungling" circumcision of 4-year-old son (Vancouver, Canada)

The dad--identified here only as D. J.W.--was convicted of criminal negligence last October for "botching" the home circumcision of his 4-year-old son. The prosecutor is now saying that Dad needs some jail time to deter future criminal conduct, especially since the father refuses to acknowledge any wrong doing in the incident. These religious wingnuts never do.

B.C. dad who bungled son's circumcision should be jailed: Crown

By Keith Fraser, Vancouver Province
March 24, 2010

VANCOUVER — A B.C. man who botched the circumcision of his four-year-old son — a few years after managing to infect his own penis while circumcising himself — needs a jail term to deter and denounce his criminal conduct, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

The father, who can only be identified by the initials D.J.W. due to a publication ban, was found guilty in October of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Court heard he told his son in April 2007 that the circumcision would grant him "extra special protection from God" and allow him to eat Passover lamb, ice cream and that the boy could then pick all the movies he wanted for a week.

The judge found D.J.W. had given his son honey wine before placing him on some garbage bags on the kitchen floor.

Wielding a razor blade, the father tried to cut away the foreskin of the little boy's penis.

After making several cuts over a cutting board, he sprinkled an ash-like powder called Wonder Dust on his son. The substance is normally used to treat wounds for race horses and other animals and is not deemed fit for use on humans.

The boy was later taken to hospital and the circumcision completed. The judge found the boy had been hurt and determined that the father's actions amounted to a wanton and reckless disregard for his son.

Prosecutor Daniel Porte told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Marion Allan the father does not accept that what he did is wrong, or criminal.

He said the actions of the man, who was untrained in medical procedures and ignored the advice of doctors, were clearly planned and deliberate and need to be denounced.

"The trust a child has in a parent, the authority a parent has over a child, is an awesome responsibility, not to be taken lightly, not to be refused," said Porte. "In the Crown's submission the offender abused that sacred trust. He must be personally deterred from abusing that trust in the future.

"He knew the risks of a home circumcision. He ignored those risks, for his own selfish reasons."

Porte called for a jail term of between 12 and 24 months to be followed by three years probation.

Court has heard that D.J.W.'s mother raised him as a Jehovah's Witness, but he left the church. Court has heard he believes circumcisions are required for religious reasons.

In late 2004 or early 2005, D.J.W. circumcised himself, using Band-Aids, peroxide and a roll of gauze and a clear plastic ring, which he believed would act as an anesthetic. He cut himself with a razor blade. The procedure infected his penis.

Before Wednesday's proceedings began, Doug Christie, the accused's trial lawyer, told the judge that he had been dismissed.

He also attempted to have a Vancouver Province reporter excluded from the courtroom over concerns about news coverage, but the judge said the proceedings were open to the public and added she wasn't interested in his opinions of the press.

After Porte finished his sentencing submissions, the accused asked for and was granted an adjournment to make submissions on his own behalf starting Thursday.