Dentist ends appeal against council decision

Thu, Dec 20, 2012, 00:00

A dentist convicted of sexually assaulting a young dental nurse has withdrawn his appeal against the Dental Council’s decision that his name should be erased from the list of registered dentists.

John Tait was found guilty by a majority verdict at Cork Circuit Court last May of sexually assaulting the 19-year-old nurse at his surgery at St Patrick’s Terrace in Douglas, Cork, on December 20th, 2006. Tait (61), of Glen House, Upper Rochestown, Cork, had denied the charge.

Last June Judge Raymond Fullam imposed a 15-month jail sentence on Tait but suspended it in full on condition he be of good behaviour.

Last October the Dental Council decided Tait’s name should be erased from the register of dentists, with the effect that he would be unable to practise as a dentist.

In proceedings which opened on Tuesday before the president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, Tait appealed against the council’s decision.

Tait continued to practise after his conviction and wished to practise in the future, Paul Anthony McDermott for Tait said. The sentencing judge had had a mistaken view that Tait was to cease working as a dentist as his client had never said that.

Mr Justice Kearns said the issue of what was said at the sentencing hearing was important, and adjourned the hearing to yesterday to allow the sides prepare a transcript of what was said. When the court resumed yesterday, Mr McDermott said his client was withdrawing his appeal.

From the transcript it seemed Judge Fullam, in considering what sentence to impose, had understood Tait had ceased practising.

At the time of the sentencing hearing Tait had ceased working as a dentist pending the outcome of the case, counsel said.

Mr Justice Kearns granted an application by Shane Murphy SC, for the Dental Council, for an order erasing Tait’s name from the dental register.