Professional conduct committee of the General Dental Council hearing 26 January 2011
The allegations considered by the GDC were as follows:-
- On 26 May 2010 at Stoke on Trent Crown Court you were convicted upon your own confession upon indictment of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
- On 17 June 2010 you were sentenced to:
- 4 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months on a suspended sentence;
- Suspended sentence – must carry out unpaid work for 220 hours before 16 June 2011;
and you were also ordered:
- to pay compensation of £7,474 to A within 90 days;
- to pay £1,200 towards the costs of the prosecution within 90 days;
Compensation to be paid first.
AND by reason of the facts stated, your fitness to practise as a dentist is impaired by reason of your conviction.
When considering the case, the committee considered the General Dental Council’s publication ‘standards for dental professionals, particularly paragraph 6.3’:
“Maintain appropriate standards of professional behaviour in all walks of life so that patients have confidence in you and the public have confidence in the dental profession”.
As the facts were admitted and found proved, the committee was satisfied that the dentist’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his conviction.
The committee then went on to consider sanction.
When considering sanction, the committee took into account the principles outlined in the following two cases;
- CHRE v GDC and Fleischmann  ALL ER (D) 47, Newman J;
- Chamdrasekera v Nursing and Midwifery Council  EWCH 144 (Admin) Symons QC
The committee considered the violent nature of the dentist’s conduct, which took place in a road rage incident. The dentist fractured the cheekbone of a member of the public who was 67 years old. There was a single blow and the dentist was immediately contrite. Prior to the incident, there dentist was a many of good character and was respected within his community. The committee considered that the dentist had taken reasonable and appropriate steps to address his behaviour and had shown a commitment to rehabilitation. The committee had heard from two character witnesses and had read various written testimonials from colleagues, friends and patients.
The committee decided there was no doubt that a conviction for inflicting GBH was so serious that it would be wrong to conclude this case with no action or a reprimand. Further the committee did not feel that conditions were appropriate. The committee considered suspension and concluded that this was appropriate and proportionate. The dentist was suspended for a period of 12 months.
When reaching the decision, the committee considered the general principle laid down by Newman J at paragraph 54 of the Fleischmann case that a practitioner should not be permitted to assume his practise until satisfactory completion of his sentence, thereby upholding the maintenance of the reputation of the profession.
Find out more about the GDC fitness to practise process.