Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena arrives at Southwark Crown Court (Picture: AFP/Getty)
An NHS doctor is on trial today over allegations of carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM) - the first trial of its kind in Britain.
Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, a junior registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Whittington Hospital in north London, is accused of illegally stitching up a woman who had just given birth to her first child.
It is alleged that Dr Dharmasena carried out a procedure that was similar to one the woman - now 27 but who cannot be named for legal reasons - had suffered when she was a six-year-old girl in Somalia.
Southwark Crown Court was told that the doctor had cut part of the woman’s fused labia so that she could give birth to the child but then re-stitched it after the operation.
It is that sewing together which went against a hospital policy that all midwives, nurses, obstetricians and students at the Whittington hospital should be aware of, the court heard.
The doctor is charged with carrying out FGM contrary to section 1 (1) of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 and is charged alongside Hasan Mohamed, 41, who is accused of aiding and abetting him.
Both men deny a charge of female genital mutilation.