24 July 2018

London-based Lehmann has been ordered to pay more than £15,000 by Isleworth Crown Court following his upheld conviction.

The failed appeal related to a 2017 conviction, which also saw Mr Lehmann issued with the first ever Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) for the offence and prohibited him from providing dental services.

Mr Lehmann, a former dental technician, was removed from the General Dental Council’s (GDC) professional register in May 2012 for acting outside his scope of practice, causing harm to patients, failing to accept professional accountability for his actions and acting without integrity. Following a report received by the GDC in October 2016 that Mr Lehmann was offering tooth whitening, the regulator launched an investigation. Mr Lehmann subsequently held himself out to undercover investigators as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening, illegally.

At the original hearing in 2017, Mr Lehmann was ordered to pay more than £10,000, an amount which has now grown to more £15,000 to cover the costs of his failed appeal.

In ruling, Mr Recorder Bellamy-James QC said: “We consider he [Mr Lehmann] intentionally and flagrantly flouted the law and regulatory system. In evidence to us he showed an arrogant disregard for the policy of the law, the law and public safety... Harm to the public does not have to be shown but you could be described as a “charlatan” and we might agree with that description. You have your own view of policy and law and it was obvious from your own evidence that you do not approve of the law. You do not think it should apply to you, but it is there because of public risk.”

Under the Dentists Act 1984 and following the High Court’s ruling in GDC v Jamous, the legal position in relation to tooth whitening is very clear in that the treatment can only be performed by a dentist or a dental therapist, dental hygienist or a clinical dental technician working to the prescription of a dentist.

Katie Spears, Head of Illegal Practice at the General Dental Council said: “Our primary purpose at the GDC is to protect the public from harm. Illegal tooth whitening represents a real risk as those who carry it out are neither qualified to assess a patient’s suitability for the treatment nor are they able to intervene should an emergency arise. The GDC takes reports of illegal practice of dentistry very seriously and, where appropriate, will prosecute in the criminal courts.”

Prosecution details:

Charge: On 18 January 2017, Jeffery Lehmann, who is not a registered dentist or dental care professional, did unlawfully hold himself out as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening, at Whitening Smile, 116B Marsh Road, Pinner, HA5 5NA, contrary to Section 38 (1) and (2) of the Dentists Act 1984.

Mr Lehmann was found guilty of the offence on 6 April 2017 by Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court and subsequently sentenced on 21 June 2017 by Ealing Magistrates’ Court, where he was ordered to pay a fine of £4,500, a victim surcharge of £120 and the GDC’s full legal costs of £5,703.39.

Mr Lehmann was also served with a Criminal Behaviour Order which established that he must not:

  • offer advice in connection with tooth whitening or denture fitting to any person in England and Wales
  • be in possession of a tooth whitening kit other than for personal use and have no more than one at any time
  • be in possession of a tooth whitening kit in any premises or part of any premise used by you (the defendant) for business purposes
  • advertise services of tooth whitening or denture fitting anywhere including websites (after a period of 2 weeks to allow the defendant time to remove content from his website)
  • advertise any premises owned, managed or occupied by yourself as a “dental clinic”
  • advertise yourself as a “denture specialist”
  • make dentures save for copy dentures already moulded by any dentist or dental technician.

Mr Lehmann appealed the 2017 ruling and on 20 July 2018 Isleworth Crown Court dismissed the appeal, thereby upholding the original conviction. In addition to the original sentencing, Mr Lehmann was ordered to pay a further contribution of £5,500 towards the GDC’s legal costs.

The appeal also altered the terms of the Criminal Behaviour Order, amending the duration to ten years and amending the terms as follows:

  1. Not to practice or hold yourself out as practicing dentistry, whether directly or indirectly, or
  2. Offer or advertise any treatment, advice or attendance to any member of the public, as is usually performed or given by dentists or dental practitioners registered with the General Dental Council; or such other matters as fall within section 37 Dentists Act 1984.
  3. For the avoidance of doubt:
    1. Not to offer treatment, or advice or attendance as is usually performed by dentists in connection with tooth whitening or denture fitting;
    2. Not to be in possession of any tooth whitening kit which is not also available for sale in a shop in England and Wales, other than one which is prescribed to him for personal use,
    3. Not to advertise either by signage, or in print or on any internet website any services in connection with tooth whitening or denture fitting as may be covered in paragraphs 1 and 2 above.
    4. Not to advertise any premises owned, leased, rented or occupied or used by yourself as a dental clinic or dental surgery or as carrying out any treatment, advice or attendance usually performed by dentists or dental practitioner registered with the General Dental Council.
    5. Not to make any dentures save for copying dentures from moulds made and obtained from a registered dentist or dental technician or practitioner.

In reference to the Criminal Behaviour Order, Mr Recorder Bellamy-James QC, said: “If you breach the terms of the CBO you can be sentenced up to and including 5 years’ imprisonment.”