Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Dentist jailed after admitting fraud and assault.
A “profoundly dishonest and utterly incompetent” unregistered dentist has been jailed for bungling operations and causing permanent harm to some of his patients.
Ronnie Barogiannis, 44, was jailed for five years and six months at Hull Crown Court for fraud and assault causing actual bodily harm.
Barogiannis has a dentistry degree, obtained in Sweden in 2003, but had never been registered to practise in the UK despite applying several times.
After he was prosecuted for working illegally in Aberdeen, he stole the name and registration of a Greek colleague and worked at a clinic in Cottingham, East Yorkshire in 2013 and 2014. During that period he earned almost £50,000 and had about 600 patients on his books.
The court heard that while he worked at the clinic he performed sub-standard and inappropriate treatment that police said had left eight patients with serious damage.
Barogiannis was caught when the clinic he worked for was sold and he accidentally sent his new bosses an email under his real name. He was arrested in October 2014 and released on bail. His Greek passport had been confiscated, but he fled the country four days later using a Swedish passport.
He was caught working in Sweden in March and extradited to the UK.
Passing sentence, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, said: “This sort of case, although an isolated example of serious criminal conduct by a devious, profoundly dishonest and utterly incompetent dentist, inevitably affects the confidence of the public in dental surgeons.
“You have damaged the standing of your profession, but I doubt it will be your profession for much longer. You have caused significant harm to your victims by the crimes you committed. You are a disgrace to your profession.”
Among his patients were a 39-year-old woman who had the wrong tooth extracted and a 37-year-old woman who developed a severe infection after Barogiannis performed a sub-standard root canal treatment.
He admitted fraud and four counts of assault causing actual bodily harm, and now faces being sued by a number of his former patients.
One of his patients, Lisa Eccles, 31, said that when she saw him to have a crown fitted he kept leaving the room to ask others about the procedure.
She said: “The measurements were obviously wrong and it didn’t fit properly, so would not screw far enough into the gum. He was trying to get it to fit for around an hour and a half. It was very painful. Looking back now, it seems obvious that he didn’t know what he was doing.”
DCI Lucy Khan said: “Barogiannis was a very believable conman who weaved a complex series of lies. I hope that the jail sentence will prevent others from operating as bogus medical professionals.”
A spokesman for the practice, now called Oasis Dental Care, said: “Having identified and dismissed Barogiannis, we have written to all the patients he saw and offered either an examination plus any necessary remedial work at no cost to them, or a refund of any fees they paid if they preferred to seek dental care elsewhere.”