Man to stand trial after ‘crude circumcision’ on baby boy

Philip Ogbewe (54) charged with assault causing harm

Father-of-six, Philip Ogbewe allegedly used a surgical blade on the infant who was hospitalised for two weeks.

Father-of-six, Philip Ogbewe allegedly used a surgical blade on the infant who was hospitalised for two weeks.

 

A 54-year-old man is to stand trial after a 10-month-old baby boy was left lucky to be alive from a “crude circumcision” carried out in the midlands three years ago.

Father-of-six, Philip Ogbewe, 54, from Nigeria but living in Ireland for 20 years at Green Lanes, Drogheda, Co Louth, allegedly used a surgical blade on the infant who was hospitalised for two weeks.

Mr Ogbewe was refused bail after appearing before Judge John Coughlan at Dublin District Court on Friday.

He was charged with assault causing harm to the baby boy in a midlands town on a date in December 2015. The infant would have died had it not been for the intervention of medical professionals, the court heard.

Mr Ogbewe has allegedly described himself as Dr Philip, a “third generation circumciser” but has no medical training, the court was told.

Garda Sergeant Paul Carney said he arrested him in Drogheda at 4.10pm on Thursday and brought him to a Garda station in the midlands to be charged.

After he was cautioned he replied, “I am sorry I committed such an offence”.

Judge Coughlan was furnished with a list of objections to bail drafted by the investigating officer who cited the seriousness of the case.

The court heard the infant required surgical intervention at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar and was later transferred to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

Blood transfusion

The baby needed a blood transfusion and medics had to “correct the bleed”.

The assault charge can carry a maximum sentence of five years but the court heard the Director of Public Prosecutions was considering further more serious charges.

Garda Sergeant Carney said technical analysis of Mr Ogbewe’s phone identified 21 other appointments for circumcisions in Dublin, Meath and Offaly.

He said the accused identified himself as Dr Philip and gardaí believed that if bailed he would endanger the safety of other children by carrying out these practices.

He agreed with defence counsel Niall Flynn that he was not concerned the accused would flee. He was satisfied he lived here since 1998 and has family in this jurisdiction.

Counsel said his client who had the presumption of innocence had three children with his partner and three with his ex-wife.

Mr Flynn said his client, if let out on bail, would give an undertaking not to carry out any circumcision or contact any witnesses.

However, the sergeant did not believe he would adhere and he added that during interview the accused indicated he was pressurised in to performing circumcisions.

Judge Coughlan refused bail and remanded him in custody to appear again on November 23rd next.

Granting legal aid, he said described the case as unique, very unusual and very serious.