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Gabor Bognar successful in GDC misconduct hearing

The client (“Mr S”), a dental technician, faced charges including dishonesty in fitness to practise proceedings before the Professional Conduct Committee (“the Committee”) of the General Dental Council (“the GDC”). He was alleged to have acted beyond the permitted scope of practice by having undertaken various tasks in making “copy dentures” for a patient, without a prescription or other appropriate input from a dentist and/or a clinical dental technician.

Gabor Bognar, instructed by the Bar Pro Bono Unit, represented Mr S at the misconduct hearing which took place between 31st May and 3rd June 2016.

The GDC pursued the proceedings against Mr S notwithstanding that the patient who had triggered the investigation withdrew his complaint. Consequently, the prosecution’s evidence was primarily comprised of written representations made by Mr S himself, at the invitation of the GDC, at a time when he had been a litigant in person. Therein, Mr S set out his version of the events in question and denied having acted beyond the permitted scope of practice.

As a preliminary issue, Gabor persuaded the Committee to redact the bundle, so as to exclude from evidence some of Mr S’s written representations. This was on the basis that they were likely not to be probative of the charges, but were potentially prejudicial to Mr S. It then transpired that the redacted representations would have been central to how the prosecution had planned to prove Mr S’s alleged dishonesty. At the close of the GDC’s case, Gabor succeeded in his submissions to the Committee that Mr S had no case to answer in respect of the dishonesty charge.

After Mr S admitted the remaining charges, the prosecution sought findings of misconduct and impairment, and a suspension for three to nine months. Gabor’s submissions persuaded the Committee to impose only a three-month suspension with a review.

News 7 Jul, 2016

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