A French court has found a Dutch dentist guilty of assault and fraud, sentencing him to eight years in prison and a life ban on practising dentistry.
Jacobus Van Nierop showed no signs of emotion when the court in the central town of Nevers returned its verdict on Tuesday.
About 100 plaintiffs filed complaints against Van Nierop, ranging from having multiple healthy teeth removed, drill bits left in their gums and teeth, abscesses, recurrent infections and misshapen mouths after he did work on patients.
Van Nierop, dubbed the “horror dentist”, was accused of causing “mutilations” or “permanent disabilities” to scores of patients from 2009 to 2012, of overcharging patients and billing them for imaginary procedures and of illegally practising dentistry in France.
In their 130-page ruling, the judges convicted the Dutchman of 85 counts of assault, and of 61 counts of fraud against patients, their health insurance companies and the local social security agency.
They fined him 10,500 euros ($A15,330) and said they will decide the amount of damages due to 62 plaintiffs in June.
Delphine Morin-Meneghel, the lawyer for Van Nierop, says her client was responsible for some bad procedures but hadn’t committed any intentional or premeditated violence towards his patients.
When the dentist opened his office in late 2008, he was first welcomed by residents in the remote part of France’s Burgundy region, known as a “medical desert” due to few medical professionals.
Van Nierop used false dentistry documents in France and didn’t disclose disciplinary proceedings in his own country.
Despite a luxury home, expensive cars and visits to nice hotels, the Dutchman had debts of nearly one million euros and may be insolvent, according to court documents.
Plaintiffs have claimed more than three million euros overall in damages.
In late 2013, the Dutchman fled to Canada before being extradited to the Netherlands and then deported to France.
Psychiatric experts said Van Nierop shows a narcissistic pervert personality with an absence of all moral sense and that he doesn’t feel any compassion.