Medical malpractice case gets 8-year sentence for “Horror Dentist”

Earlier this week, the trial of Jacobus van Nierop (also known as the “dentist of horror”) ended in a prison-sentence of 8 years and a fine of €10,500 – roughly $11,900 USD. According to prosecutors, Nierop – the 51 year-old dentist from France- reportedly “took pleasure” in the unnecessary surgery, mutilation and medical malpractice which he forced his patients to undergo. At the time, the aptly dubbed “Horror Dentist” was operating out of Chateau-Chinon, a small town in central France.

Van Nierop initially attempted escape from prosecution for his medical malpractice proclivities, by fleeing to Canada in 2014. Once there, he fought French extradition efforts as best he could, but to no avail. Testimony against the defendant was given at the Nevers courthouse by his former patients, including reports of broken jaws, septicaemia and recurrent abscesses. The 51 year-old’s modus operandi was to drug his patients and then, as they were unconscious, perform acts of severe mutilation.

Lucile Jaillon-Bru, the prosecutor for the case, stated that Nierop had performed “useless and painful procedures” on his patients. His goal was apparently to experience “pleasure at causing pain”, while simultaneously increasing the amount his office could bill to patients’ medical insurance plans. Nierop reportedly admitted responsibility for the multiple acts of medical malpractice, claiming that he “wasn’t interested in people”, nor could he even remember his victims.

One victim in particular – a 65 year-old woman – testified that Nierop had removed 8 of her teeth in the course of one appointment and as a result of his actions was “gushing blood for three days… and had no teeth for a year and a half”. Van Nierop repeatedly replied to questioning with “no comment” and showed no remorse at all. The defense of his deliberate medical malpractice was that Nierop had been suffering “psychological problems”. An expert for the case had even said that his “narcissistic tendencies” had impeded his ability to judge the morality of his actions. However, another expert said that he was “perfectly aware of what he was doing”, according to the AFP news agency.

After his victim count had surpassed the three-digit mark, van Nierop was finally detained and placed under arrest by French authorities in June of 2013. It was shortly after he fled to Canada that he was discovered to be hiding out in New Brunswick, Canada and was captured on an an international warrant.

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