Undercover reporter ‘had sex’ with dentist during female circumcision sting operation
Hearing told reporter was trying to get dentist to agree to carry out female circumcisions in sting set up by Mazher Mahmood.
An undercover Sunday Times reporter had sex with a dentist during a sting set up by ‘Fake Sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood, a misconduct hearing has been told.
The unknown journalist ‘went to extra lengths’ to get dentist Omar Addow, 56, to offer to perform female circumcision on her two young nieces.
The hearing heard that Addow at first insisted he was against the illegal ‘ritual’ but then disappeared into a room with the woman for an hour.
On his return he was recorded on her handbag camera saying: ‘I will do it for you. Between you, me and Allah only’.
Addow was arrested two weeks after the story appeared in the Sunday Times, but was not charged.
The allegations emerged during a misconduct hearing before the General Dental Council in London on Tuesday.
The Sunday Times stands by its story and says the journalist denies having sex with the dentist.
“The journalist in question was a freelance engaged in a legitimate undercover investigation by the Sunday Times into female genital mutilation, which is a matter of public interest. She categorically denies having had sexual intercourse or any other sexually intimate contact with Dr Addow,” said a spokesman on Wednesday.
Tom Kark QC, for the General Dental Council, which is investigating Addow, told the hearing that the basis for the article, which appeared in the newspaper in April 2012, was that the reporter, who has not been named, “pretended to be looking for someone who would circumcise children, [and] was referred to Dr Addow by a GP”.
Initially, Addow appeared “very reluctant” and refused her request, the hearing was told. Kark said Addow was then “recorded undercover indicating that he was prepared to carry out female circumcisions on two girls”
Kark said:”‘He [Addow] says it is against the law. He claims that when he practised in Italy he campaigned against female circumcision.
“He talks about the danger in taking the girls to old women who perform the operation.”
According to Kark, Addow told the reporter: “It is dangerous, it is dangerous. I am against the ritual circumcision of girls”, but the dentist later agreed to describe the procedure in some detail and displayed the instruments needed for female circumcision – including surgical scissors and a clamp.
When the reporter’s stomach started rumbling Addow carried out ‘percussion’ and examined her abdomen and then other parts of her body, the hearing was told.
Mahmood, whose targets have famously included Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, supplied his reporter with fresh batteries for her ‘handbag cam’ moments before she went to his flat, the hearing was told.
Soon after arriving she disappeared into the bedroom with Addow, reappearing after an hour wearing what appeared to be a sarong, the hearing was told.
“It appears he and the journalist had sexual intercourse,” said Kark. We may form the view that the journalist had gone to extra lengths to get her story.”.
Addow is then heard agreeing for the first time to perform the circumcisions.
The journalist, referred to only as a “female undercover investigator”, claims on the secret video to be 33 and of Ghanaian origin.
Neither she nor ‘senior investigator’ Mahmood will be called to give evidence, the hearing was told.
Both Addow and the GP who is said to have referred the journalist to him were arrested on 4 May for conspiring to perform female genital mutilation. They were both released without charge.
“It is the General Dental Council’s submission that although he appeared to be very reluctant to take part in such a procedure, he was eventually persuaded to do so,” Kark said.
At his police interview, Addow again claimed to be a vocal opponent of ‘cutting’, the tribunal heard.
Addow told police “he campaigned against it because his mother and his wife had both been badly circumcised in Somalia”.
However, he freely admitted to police that he examined the reporter and had sex with her, the hearing was told.
“We did sex”, Addow told police.
Performing or assisting female genital mutilation carries a maximum jail term of 14 years, although no successful prosecution has ever been brought in this country.
Addow, who is not represented, faces no charges in relation to having sex with the journalist, as she was not his patient and they did not have sex in his surgery.
But he is accused of performing a medical examination on the woman while unregistered with the General Medical Council, as well as planning to carry out the two circumcisions.
The hearing is scheduled to continue to 3 September.
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[The doctor the dentist accepts the patient on the workplace in an office via Shutterstock.com]