The “Dentist of Horror,” Dutch dentist Jacobus van Nierop, who enjoyed torturing and mutilating his patients, has been sentenced to eight years in prison by a French court, the Daily Mail is reporting.
Prosecutors say the dentist “took pleasure” in inflicting pain on his patients, deliberately maiming them in order to charge more money from insurance companies for the patients’ procedures.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 25, 2016
The “Dentist of Horror” arrived in the French village of Chateau-Chinon in 2008 and was initially welcomed by the people of the small town, who had for years been without access to nearby medical care, including dentists. He quickly developed a reputation for being “larger than life” — a neighbor described him as having “a big 4×4, a big dog, a big cigar.”
But by 2011, French authorities had taken an interest in the dentist’s accounting practices, and his patients were beginning to realize that something was amiss with the treatment they’d been given in his practice.
- Eighty-year-old Bernard Hugon said he went to van Nierop for a routine tooth extraction and was left with “pieces of flesh hanging everywhere.”
- Sixty-five-year-old Sylviane Boulesteix went to the dentist to have her braces fitted. Instead, van Nierop removed eight of her teeth. “I was gushing blood for three days,” she would later say.
- Nicole Martin found the dentist’s bedside manner sorely lacking. “Every time, he would give us what he called ‘a little prick’ and we were asleep, knocked out. 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.”
Martin began comparing notes with other van Nierop patients, and by 2013, some 120 former patients of the dentist had compiled enough horror stories to go to the police. He was charged with aggravated assault for his crimes against his patients, and fraud for his insurance schemes.
The dentist fled the country.
Van Nierop was eventually tracked down to Canada. When international police tried to arrest him, he tried to cut his throat.
The dentist would spend the next several months vehemently fighting his extradition, first to the Netherlands (Dutch authorities had also taken an interest in his accounting practices in the Netherlands before he began practicing in France), and later to France by claiming insanity brought on by gender identity issues, according to Martin.
“He claimed to have killed his first wife, he played crazy, he said he was trans-sexual. He tried everything to avoid extradition.”
His extradition attempts failed, and van Nierop was returned to France, where he was kept in a psychiatric hospital awaiting trial.
At his trial, prosecutors alleged that the dentist’s patients had suffered broken jaws, dangerous infections, and recurrent abscesses as a result of his care. According to prosecutor Lucile Jaillon-Bru, van Nierop’s goal had been to extract more money from insurance companies via “useless and painful procedures.”
According to BBC News, van Nierop admitted in court that he “wasn’t interested in people” and couldn’t remember most of his patients.
— eNCA (@eNCA) April 26, 2016
One French psychiatrist, according to the Guardian, testified that van Nierop had “narcissistic tendencies” and could not be held accountable for what he did. Another psychiatrist testified that the dentist knew full well what he was doing.
The court sided with van Nierop’s victims and sentenced him to eight years in prison. Further, the court banned him from practicing dentistry for life and fined him 10,500 euros (about $11,852).
Do you think the “Dentist of Horror” got a fair prison sentence?
[Image via Shutterstock/Minerva Studio]