A UK-based Nigerian nurse found guilty of killing a four-week-old baby in a botched circumcision walked free from court yesterday.
Grace Adeleye, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence in December 2012 at Manchester Crown Court after 27-day-old Goodluck Caubergs died following the operation at his home in 2010.
The 67-year-old nurse was given a 21 month suspended jail term yesterday.
Nigerian-born Adeleye was paid £100 to perform the cultural circumcision using the traditional clamp and cut method, a technique which the court heard has been ‘discredited’ by medical professionals.
Goodluck’s parents, also Nigerian-born, were not aware that the procedure was available on the NHS and the infant tragically bled to death as a result of the operation.
The court also heard that by the time an ambulance was called, the child could not be saved, despite the fact that there was a Hospital a mile and half from the family’s home.
The nurse stated in the trial that she had performed more than 1,000 circumcisions over the course of a 40-year career, but stopped after baby Goodluck’s death.
The defense argued in mitigation that Adeleye, a grandmother caring for her two-year-old grandson, was of good character and had no disciplinary hearings against her previously. from nursing.
The court also heard that Adeleye had not breached any guidelines or guidance from the Nursing and Midwifery Council when performing the circumcision and the procedure she had carried out was not illegal.
“There was no casual disregard or failure to accept or recognize a departure from an acceptable standard of care,” the defense argued.
The defense added that Adeleye had not performed any similar operations since the tragedy and had retired.
Justice Keith Lindblom sentencing said: “This was a tragic death that could have been avoided if, as the jury believed, more care had been taken in the carrying out of the duties and responsibilities.”
He added: “Although you have shown remorse and sorrow for the death, you have not fully acknowledged your role and responsibility for it.”
However, the court heard that this could have been because of a language barrier when preparing the pre-sentence report.
The conditions of the sentence require Adeleye to not re-offend in the next two years, report to an officer when required and maintain a curfew at her home between the hours of 9pm and 7am for six months.