• France's news in English
France's 'butcher dentist' gets eight years behind bars
Photo: AFP

France's 'butcher dentist' gets eight years behind bars

AFP · 26 Apr 2016, 11:55

Published: 26 Apr 2016 11:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Apr 2016 11:55 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A French court on Tuesday sentenced a Dutch dentist to eight years in jail for deliberately mangling his patients' mouths
in a case which saw him dubbed "the dentist of horror".

Jacobus van Nierop, 51, went on trial in March for ripping out healthy teeth and leaving dozens of patients with injuries including broken jaws, recurrent abscesses and septicaemia in the small central town of Chateau-Chinon.

He was found guilty of the charge of "mutilation" as well as premeditation violence and fraud over claims that he tried to rip off patients and insurance companies.

The court in the central town of Nevers also banned him from practising as a dentist and fined him 10,500 euros ($11,900).

During the trial, prosecutor Lucile Jaillon-Bru said Van Nierop had carried out "useless and painful procedures" on about 100 patients with the aim of having them reimbursed by medical insurance schemes.

She said he took "pleasure at causing pain" to his patients.

Van Nierop, who called himself Mark, was hired by a head-hunter and was initially welcomed by locals into an area which was lacking in medical services.

Giving evidence in court, a neighbour recalled the arrival of a smiley, larger-than-life character, with a "big 4x4, a big dog, a big cigar".

'Gushing blood'

But by 2011, the authorities were starting to question some of his accounting practices, and patients were starting to compare notes on his dentistry.

The court heard nightmarish tales, including one from Sylviane Boulesteix, 65, who saw Van Nierop in March 2012 to have braces fitted.

"He gave me seven or eight injections, and pulled out eight teeth in one go. I was gushing blood for three days," she said.

Around 120 former patients joined a victims' group set up in early 2013.

Prosecutors retained the charge of mutilation against 53 of the victims for the trial, while another 20 cases were filed under "premeditated violence".

The court let Van Nierop off on charges against six patients and some fraud accusations.

During the trial Van Nierop sat stony-faced, replying mostly only "no comment" to any questions.

He was not required to offer a plea under French law, but sought to deflect responsibility, saying he suffers from "psychological problems" including gender identity issues and suicidal tendencies.

Story continues below…

The trial heard conflicting expert opinion about Van Nierop's psychological state.

One psychiatrist found he had "narcissistic tendencies" and was therefore incapable of making a moral judgement of his own actions.

But another found he was "perfectly aware of what he was doing".

Van Nierop was arrested in June 2013, but fled France while awaiting trial.

He was later tracked down to a small town in Canada, arrested and extradited first to the Netherlands and then to France.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available