Dutch ‘dentist of horror’ gets eight years for mangling mouths of patients


A Dutchman dubbed the “dentist of horror” has been sentenced to eight years in prison and banned from dentistry for life for mutilating, drugging and defrauding dozens of patients at his country practice in France .

Jacobus van Nierop was found guilty of aggravated assault and fraud after leaving at least 50 patients in a remote French village with broken jaws, recurrent abscesses and septicemia in a spree of “butchery” from 2008 to 2012.

The court ordered he be kept in custody, slapped a life ban on the ex-dentist and a fine of €10,500.

During his trial in March, prosecutor Lucile Jaillon-Bru slammed what she called the “sanitary disaster” the 51-year-old wreaked on patients in Chateau-Chinon, saying the “ultimate goal of his violent acts” was to rip off patients and health insurance companies for ever-higher sums.

denThe court had heard how he tore eight teeth out of one patient who merely came to have a brace fitted leaving her “gushing blood for three days”,  and that he lacked “any sense or morality” and was “perfectly conscious of his actions”.

Bernard Hugon, 80, said the dentist left “pieces of flesh hanging everywhere” after tearing out a tooth. “Every time, he would give us what he called ‘a little prick’ and we were asleep, knocked out,” said Nicole Martin, a retired teacher who lost several teeth to abscesses caused by the gory operations.

“When it was over, we would find a Post-it note saying to come back for an appointment the next day or the day after,” she added.

The accused remained mainly mute during the trial, replying “no comment” to most questions.

Van Nierop, who went by the first name of Mark, was hired by a head-hunter in 2008 and was initially seen as a “saviour” in Chateau-Chinon, until then described as a “medical desert”.

But they came to bitterly regret ever accepting him. When in 2013, around 120 victims clubbed together to press charges, police arrested Van Nierop but left him free pending trial, and he fled the country.

He was eventually tracked down to a small Canadian town in New Brunswick and arrested under an international warrant in September 2014. Local media reported that he tried to slit his throat when police arrested him.

Van Nierop sought to block his extradition, first to the Netherlands and then France, claiming to suffer from “psychological problems” including gender identity issues and suicidal tendencies. But he was eventually placed in a prison psychiatric unit in the Loiret department, south of Paris.

“He claimed to have killed his first wife, he played crazy, he said he was trans-sexual. He tried everything” to avoid extradition said Ms Martin, who led the victims’ association..

According to Dutch media, Van Nierop had already come under investigation at home over his working practices before coming to France.

Joseph-Oudin, lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the victims hoped the trial would help them “understand how we reached such a fiasco”.

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