Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dad's conviction for circumcising son to stand

Supreme Court dismisses appeal

  • Print

OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada has abruptly dismissed the appeal of a British Columbia man who tried to circumcise his four-year-old son on his kitchen floor with a carpet-cutting blade.

The boy needed corrective surgery to repair the damage from the botched procedure.

In a 7-0 ruling from the bench, the justices left intact a Court of Appeal ruling convicting the man of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

The man, identified only as DJW, was convicted at trial in October 2009 of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and acquitted on the two assault charges.

The appeal court restored convictions on the assault counts and stayed the negligence charge, conditional on the conviction for aggravated assault.

The man's appeal to the Supreme Court sought to have the assault charges thrown out again, but the justices dismissed the case from the bench, saying their reasons would be available in 48 hours.

The original trial was told the man felt his religious beliefs required his son be circumcised. Doctors advised him to wait until the child was older and stronger.

In its factum on the case, the Crown dismissed the religious reasoning. "This is a case about child abuse," the Crown argued. "This is not a case about the applicant's religious freedom or circumcision generally."

DJW's lawyer argued the man took safety precautions, including extensive research on the topic of circumcision.

The trial judge found the kitchen was not a sanitary place for a surgical procedure, that the blade used wasn't as sharp as a surgical instrument and it was inappropriate to use a veterinary product to try and staunch the boy's bleeding.

DJW's religious background was as a Jehovah's Witness, although he was "disfellowshipped" by his family and the church. The Crown said his religious education and associations later led him to believe that male circumcision was a covenant with God.

He attempted to circumcise himself in 2005 and could not stop the bleeding. He had to go to an emergency room where a doctor sutured the wound.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 17, 2012 A23

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for this week - December 8-12

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • horse in sunset - marc gallant
  • Winnipeg’s best friend the dragon fly takes a break at English Gardens in Assiniboine Park Wednesday- A dragon fly can eat  food equal to its own weight in 30 minutes-Standup photo- June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on the Jets so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google