By Tom Porter | September 8, 2013
A dentist who offered to perform genital mutilation on two young girls in a sting by an undercover reporter has been struck off.
Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow, 56, is the first dentist to be struck off by the General Dental Council for the crime, which carries a maximum 14-year sentence in the UK.
The council’s Professional Conduct Committee found that Addow had also performed an inappropriate examination of the reporter’s chest, abdomen and vagina at his surgery, which was illegal as he was not a doctor registered with the General Medical Council.
The pair then went to his flat. There, Addow alleges that he had sex with the journalist, a claim she denies.
When asked to perform FGM on the reporter’s two nieces, aged 10 and 13, Addow was filmed on a hidden camera agreeing, and said that he could go to prison for performing the procedure, “but I will do it for you.”
The Committee found: “Mr Addow’s conduct fell far short of the standards expected of a registered dental practitioner when he performed an intimate examination upon the journalist in his dental surgery. He also acted in a manner that was totally unacceptable for a registered dentist when he talked with her about, and planned to perform, FGM on two children.”
FMG involves the removal of outer parts of the vulva, and is believed to have been carried out on as many as 66,000 women in the UK, mostly in other countries.
The practice is associated with communities in Africa, particularly Mali, Somalia, Sudan and Kenya, and parts of the Middle East. In most cases the clitoris is removed, as it is a source of sexual pleasure.
Campaigners, including model Waris Dirie, who had the operation performed on her, have accused authorities of not doing enough to combat the practice.
Recently, it was revealed that 2,000 women had sought treatment in London hospitals in three years for injuries sustained by the operation.
Though it is illegal in the UK, there have been no prosecutions. In France, there have been 100 successful convictions of people either performing the operation or arranging for it to be performed.
Two doctors have been struck off for offering to perform FGM in the last 15 years after being exposed by reporters.
Recently, director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer attended a meeting at which it was revealed that there had been 32 cases of FGM referred to the police by the children’s charity the NSPCC.
Starmer said the police had a new intelligence-led strategy to combat the crime. “We are getting close to a prosecution. We are much closer now than we have ever been.”