ENGLAND, UK — A devout Christian woman who was entrusted with caring for a couple’s child, posed as the child’s mother to have him circumcised against the parents’ wishes. Now, Martina Obi-Uzom, 70, has been convicted by a jury for causing grievous bodily harm, but she won’t serve any jail time, the Evening Standard reports.
Obi-Uzom was caring for the child while the parents went away for the weekend back in September of 2017. Determined to have the child conform to her Christian beliefs, she traveled to London without the parents’ consent to a Jewish mohel to have the procedure done.
The judge gave Obi-Uzom a 14-month prison sentence on Tuesday but agreed to suspend it for 18 months, saying there was a “vanishingly small risk of re-offending.”
“It was an arrogant and imperious decision you made to impose your own will as to what should be done, in place of the parents,” Judge Freya Newbery said. “It was an arrogant and imperious decision you made to impose your own will as to what should be done, in place of the parents.”
“The procedure is a well-recognized one carried out over history in many different communities and countries,” the judge continued. “It’s up to the parents, and that is what was missing here. You imposed your will as to what should happen.”
According to Judge Newbery, Obi-Uzom committed a “massive violation,” but her history of charity, contributions to her community, and work with disadvantaged children was taken into consideration during her sentencing.
Obi-Uzom, who is a pharmacist from Nigeria, reportedly brought a male along to pose as the child’s father. Court testimony revealed that she believed circumcision in boys has “great religious and cultural significance” in regards to her Christian faith.
She was ordered to pay £1,500 in prosecution costs and a £140 court fee. The child, however, will be maimed for life.
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