Dad convicted for botched circumcision on son
A Vancouver-area man has been convicted of criminal negligence causing bodily harm for a botched amateur circumcision he attempted on his four-year-old son.
However, Justice Marion Allan acquitted the man, who along with his family can't be identified under a publication ban, of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
The child, now aged six, was treated in hospital for what doctors said was an incomplete circumcision and has since made a full recovery.
The boy's father, who subscribes to a religious philosophy that incorporates Hebrew elements, previously tried to circumcise himself and also had to seek medical help.
He learned about circumcision on the Internet and sent away for special instruments.
Court heard he put his son on the floor on some clean garbage bags and towels, with Band-Aids and a veterinary powder used to stop bleeding standing by.
The man tried to drug his young son with wine and told him lie still, but he apparently jerked during the procedure, causing the man's hand to slip while cutting the foreskin.
In his judgment posted Thursday, Allan said the man's first experience with home circumcision should have told him it was a serious, risky procedure.
Surgery was required to remove hardened layers of the veterinary blood-stopping material caked on the boy's penis and repair damage from the botched circumcision to prevent permanent disfigurement.
But the judge said the father's actions did not rise to the level of aggravated assault, nor could the razor instrument he used be considered a weapon that could cause death or injury.
The man's lawyer, Doug Christie, told Allan at the outset that he would try to have the case tossed out on constitutional grounds, saying his religious motive negated any criminal intent.
Allan said Christie had not given the Crown sufficient notice leading up to the trial but the lawyers for both sides were now free to address it.