December 5, 2012
Salford nurse accused of Oldham baby's manslaughter after 'botched' circumcision defends method
A nurse accused of the manslaughter of a four-week-old baby after a home circumcision said today she had carried out "more than a thousand" such procedures without a single problem.
Grace Adeleye, 67, performed the procedure on Goodluck Caubergs without anaesthetic and using only a pair of scissors, forceps and olive oil, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Goodluck was born on March 22, 2010, in Rochdale Infirmary and died on April 17, after bleeding to death the day after the circumcision, aged 27 days old.
The defendant is originally from Nigeria, where she qualified as a nurse and midwife, as [are] the youngster's parents, where the circumcision of newborns is the tradition for Christian families, the jury heard.
Mrs Adeleye said after praying before the operation, as is her custom, she used the traditional, Nigerian "clamp and cut" method, which she had used hundreds of times, without any pain-killers for the child.
And she told the jury when she left the boy with his parents, Sylvia Attiko and Olajunti Fatunla, there [were] no problems but [she] warned them to monitor closely any bleeding from the wound.
But today Mrs Adeleye, a mother-of-six told the jury she herself performed circumcisions on her two grandsons and carried out more than a thousand such ops while practising in Nigeria.
She said it was custom to have a naming ceremony for the child on the eighth day after birth then she would travel from church to church performing the operation.
And since coming to the UK in 2004, working as a state registered nurse in Litchfield, she had performed a further 20 home circumcisions.
None had required hospital treatment or suffered excessive bleeding.
Mrs Adeleye said she performed the same circumcision technique on Goodluck like the others.
"It's the cultural one in Nigeria. It's clamp and cut," she said.
Peter Wright QC, defending asked her: "Is there anaesthetic administered to the child before the procedure?"
"We don't usually, no," she replied.
"The culture, why we don't need anaesthetic, that's why we do it early in life. We believe if it's done early the pain is not as well as in an older child."
The prosecution claim Adeleye also failed in her duty of care to the child because the boy's parents knew nothing about the procedure or medical matters.
But the witness said she had discussed the procedure and what needed to be done with firstly the father then the mother separately,
"Mr Fatunla asked me , he told me about the procedure he wanted to do," the defendant told the jury.
"He said he has inquired amongst the Nigerians. That he wanted to do the cultural one."
She added: "He said he's scared of blood. He said he doesn't want to see blood."
Mrs Adeleye said she did not want to use "big medical words" so spoke to the father in their own Yoruba dialect from Nigeria - and stressed the boy must be monitored for bleeding from the wound.
The defendant said she questioned the parents about the health of mother and baby, sterilised the instruments she used and cleaned the boy's groin with TCP before the op began.
She used artery forceps to clamp the excess skin for one minute then used surgical scissors to "trim" the foreskin which only took a "few seconds," before gauze, vaseline and bandages were applied.
The skin was given to the boy's father, because Nigerian custom has it, that if it is discarded carelessly the boy will grow into a "promiscuous" man, the jury were told.
Mrs Adeleye said she remained at the house for one hour to monitor any bleeding before leaving.
She told the jury there was "no problem" with the parents thanking her and about to cook a meal before she left.
She told the jury they would hardly have been "dining and wining" if there had been complications with their son's op.