AGENCE FRANCE-PRESS, Brisbane, Wednesday, 8 October 1997.

Court awards AU$10,000 for wrongful circumcision

BRISBANE, Australia, Oct 8 1997 (AFP) - An court on Wednesday awarded a man 10,000 Australian dollars (7,400 US) for nervous shock after a botched attempt to circumcise him with a broken beer bottle in a drunken attack.

The Brisbane district court heard that Irwin Brookdale, 34, was drinking with a group of Aborigines on the banks of a river in far north Queensland state last year when he fell asleep and passed out.

A woman with the group, "Gladys," felt down his pants and realising he was not circumcised, exhorted the others to "make a man out of him".

"Which is what they proceeded to do on the banks of the Leichhardt (river) with a broken beer bottle they had smashed over rocks," Judge Fred McGuire said.

"He was an uncomplaining type, but he ended up in hospital."

Brookdale was forced to have a corrective therapeutic circumcision in hospital the next day.

McGuire described the case as "puzzling" and said there was nothing similar to it that he could find in Australian legal history.

He made the compensation award against Ambrose John Neal, who was convicted of unlawful wounding in June last year.

(File revised 11 October 2006)