A DENTIST has been jailed for sexually assaulting a woman as he carried out dental work on her at a surgery in Leeds.
Fadi Sukaria was the subject of a General Dental Council investigation for repeatedly groping a nurse at the time he committed the offence.
Sukaria, 45, was found guilty after a jury heard he tried to kiss the young woman before grabbing her breast as he carried out dental work at the Bergin Surgery, on Ladypit Lane, Beeston.
At the time of the offence, in March last year, Sukaria was subject to restrictions banning his from carrying out dental surgery on patients without a chaperone being present as a GDC judgement was pending over his behaviour towards female colleagues.
Leeds Crown Court heard Sukaria “deliberately engineered” a situation to allow himself to be alone with the young woman. Sukaria, originally from Syria, carried out the offence as he put a filling in her tooth.
The victim reacted angrily and left the room after the assault and later told police about what happened. Recorder Abdul Iqbal, QC, jailed Sukaria for ten months after hearing how the victim had suffered emotionally and psychologically as a result of her ordeal.
“Health professionals are entrusted to a very high level by members of the public. With that high level of trust placed in you comes a high level of responsibility. The public deserve to be protected from professionals who abuse that trust.”Recorder Abdul Iqbal, QC
He said: “Health professionals are entrusted to a very high level by members of the public. With that high level of trust placed in you comes a high level of responsibility. The public deserve to be protected from professionals who abuse that trust.”
Recorder Iqbal said Sukaria also had no insight into his offence.
He added: “You have never accepted responsibility for what you did.
“You still maintain....that she has lied and she wants compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority even though there is no evidence that she has tried to make a claim.”
Sukaria, formerly of Eastgate, Leeds, but now of Martin Way, Wimbledon, was struck off by the GDC in March this year for professional misconduct over his behaviour towards colleagues at a dental practice in Barnsley in 2012.
The court heard Sukaria qualified as a dentist in Syria before moving to the UK.
He has no family in this country and had been sending money home to support his relatives
The court was told Sukaria was now unable to find work and was living on job-seeker’s allowance.
‘Deplorable’ Sukaria once joked to a dental nurse that he could treat her intimate medical condition with his ‘magic tongue’.
Sukaria repeatedly groped his colleague, made sexually explicit comments to her and asked if she had any ‘rude’ pictures or videos on her phone.
When he heard she was suffering from cystitis, Sukaria said: ‘I have a magic tongue to make it better.’ The General Dental Council heard in March this year how his disturbing comments were made while the pair were working together at the Gateway Dental Practice in Barnsley.
Sukaria also asked the woman, referred to as Nurse A, if she had ever been raped before stroking her breasts, groping her bottom and biting her arm, the hearing was told.
Saba Naqshbandia, for the GDC, said they were working together in November 2012, when they chatted about going to the gym.
‘During this Sukaria stroked her bottom very lightly and said it was “nice”. The complainant responded by saying: “Don’t ever touch my bum”.
‘He stroked her breast saying: “I will touch these instead”. She recalled that he was laughing.’
‘She had to lean next to him, but not over him, to use the computer - as she used the mouse he stroked her right breast again.
‘He grabbed her right arm with his teeth and mouth and sucked it. She said “how dare you do that” and he laughed.
Sukaria also showed another dental nurse - Nurse B - pictures of a woman’s bottom on his phone.
He also thrust his groin while laughing, the hearing was told.
Giving evidence, Nurse B said: ‘I think he was a bit filthy minded. I don’t think he thought there was anything wrong with what he did even though it was inappropriate.’ Sukaria denied all the allegations against him but was struck off.
GDC panel chair Mary Harley said: ‘The committee takes a particularly serious view of your conduct because it took place in a professional setting.
‘As a dentist working directly with these dental nurses, you were in a position of authority over them; you abused that position for your own sexual gratification.
‘Your conduct would be considered deplorable by members of the dental profession and indeed by members of the public.’