Sun, Jan 18, 2015 - Page 6 News List

‘Horror dentist’ sent to psych unit

AFP, BOURGES, France

A Dutch dentist suspected of mutilating dozens of patients in France has been detained in a prison psychiatric unit, a judicial source said.

Dubbed the “horror dentist” by media outlets, Mark van Nierop, 50, claims to suffer from “psychological problems,” including gender identity issues and suicidal tendencies, which he had cited in a failed attempt to challenge his extradition from the Netherlands.

Van Nierop was detained in Canada in October last year and flown back to the Netherlands, where he was arrested under a Paris-issued international warrant and a court approved his extradition last month.

French investigating judges on Thursday night ordered him to be sent to a prison psychiatric unit in the Loiret department, south of Paris, after new complaints were filed against him.

Many of Van Nierop’s 2,800 patients suffered disorders ranging from sepsis to broken jaws, a French victims’ group said.

Dutch media outlets also reported healthy teeth being pulled for no reason and abusive billing.

A group of 120 French victims formed a collective to press charges and a criminal investigation was opened in May 2013.

However, Van Nierop fled in December of that year, forcing French authorities to seek an international warrant for his arrest.

He was finally detained in the small town of Nackawic in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

Dutch prosecutors are also probing his claim that he killed his second wife in 2006, two years before he was persuaded to move to the remote rural area of Chateau-Chinon in central France.

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