Jacobus van Nierop trial: How did one Dutch dentist come to open practice in a remote French town before butchering his patients?
Dutch dentist Jacobus van Nierop, 51 practicing in remote French village, Nevers has today gone on trial after accusations of causing horrific injuries to the mouths of more than 100 patients in France.
Nicknamed the ‘dentist of horrors’ the man since stripped of his license has been accused of ripping out healthy teeth and leaving dozens of patients with broken jaws, recurrent abscesses and septicaemia.
Charged with aggravated assault, as well as fraud over claims that he tried to rip off patients and insurance companies, a report via the dailymail notes Jacobus van Nierop facing up to 10 years in prison and fined 375 000 Euros ( $413 000 USD) if found guilty.
A report via the x tells of scores of people coming forward with complaints ranging from multiple healthy teeth removed, pieces of tools left in teeth, abscesses, recurrent infections and misshapen mouths between 2009 and 2013.
One patient, Sylviane Boulesteix, 65, told French local media of being unexpectedly summoned to his dental office in central-eastern France in May 2012. Without warning, the dentist pulled eight of her teeth out and immediately fixed dentures on her raw gums. For three hours, the elderly woman says she sat gushing blood.
In the following days, she says Van Nierop refused to relieve her pain. A judicial expert later described a ‘cruel and perverse’ man whose incompetence made Boulesteix lose several healthy teeth, go through a trauma and suffer irreversible damage to her mouth.
Interestingly Dentist Jacobs van Nierop says he remembers only one of the 75 patients who allegedly suffered ‘mutilations’ or ‘permanent disabilities’ at his hands between 2009 and 2013. He now has to face many of them in court.
Offered Nicole Martin, president of a victim association via AP: ‘I dread the moment where I’ll see him again because it won’t be any longer the 100 kilograms rugby man who was smiling at us with disregard.’
Van Nierop, who used the assumed first name Mark with his patients, refused to answer questions during the investigation, saying only that the oral health of people in the region was ‘deplorable’.
Tellingly the dentist told of suffering from a borderline personality disorder, complicated with a transgender issue and suicide attempts.
Detained in a French prison since January 2015, Jacobs van Nierop has staged several hunger and thirst strikes, even once swallowing razor blades before he was to be questioned by the investigating judge.
Questioned about the alleged mutilations suffered, the ‘dentist of horrors’ said: ‘It does not affect me,’
‘I’m totally blocked from the inside and I don’t want to explain it all,”
‘You can lock me up for years (…), it will not change.’
When Jacobs van Nierop first opened his practice in 2008 in Chateau-Chinon, a small town located in a remote part of the Burgundy region with a status of a ‘medical desertification area,’ local reports told of the man being openly welcomed.
Why or how the Dutch dentist came to choose the area to treat patients isn’t necessarily understood.
Local press have since cited investigative reports telling of Van Nierop providing false documents to be allowed to practice dentistry in France, gaining tax and economic benefits, and concealed that he was the subject of disciplinary proceedings in his own country.
Along with horrific treatment, the dentist is accused of overcharging his patients, billing them for imaginary dental care or intentionally bad work which required further appointments and payments, according to court documents.
Town records also indicate Van Nierop, who’d in a luxurious home outside the town, had debts of nearly 1 million euros.
When the noose eventually tightened around him, the Dutchman fled to Canada before being extradited to the Netherlands and then deported to France. At the time the dentist told of suffering from psychological problems and confusion about his sexual identity.
Jacobs van Nierop’s trial is expected to last until March 18, with a ruling expected later.