Dentist guilty of 'attempted sexual communication with a child'

Prais Dental Care in Lyttelton Avenue

Prais Dental Care in Lyttelton Avenue - Credit: Google

A Hampstead Garden Suburb dentist has pleaded guilty to attempting sexual conversation with a child.

Richard Prais, who runs Prais Dental Care (PDC), in Lyttelton Road, was sentenced to four months in jail, suspended for 12 months, at Harrow Crown Court, on October 29.

The 57-year-old, of Winnington Road, admitted an "adult attempt to engage in sexual communication with a child" on September 17 at Willesden Magistrates Court.

In September, Prais was suspended for 15 months, to be reviewed in six months, by the General Dental Council (GDC), which investigates misconduct in dentistry. 

In its report the GDC said it considered whether an interim order was necessary for the protection of the public.

"In doing so, it had regard to the information before it and determined that your behaviour raises concerns in relation to public protection," it said. "It considers that at present there is a real risk of repetition."

Mr Stevens, case presenter for the GDC, submitted that an interim order was "necessary for the protection of the public and is otherwise in the public interest" as Prais' actions raise "safeguarding concerns".

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Fiona Horlick QC, speaking on behalf of Prais, agreed an interim order was necessary on "public interest grounds only".

She said Prais' action "demonstrates that this was a 'one off' over a short period of time" and that the dentist was "ashamed of what has happened".

The Care Quality Commission inspected the practice on September 10, updated on September 23, and found the practice safe, effective and well-led with "no safety incidents" in the previous 12 months. 

An NHS in London spokesperson said: "All dental patients at the practice are under the care of qualified staff.

"Mr Prais remains suspended by NHSEI (NHS England and NHS Improvement) from working for the NHS in London, and it would not be appropriate for us to comment further while the investigation is ongoing."

A spokesman for PDC said a senior dentist was appointed to oversee the practice following Dr Prais' suspension.

"We have worked with the GDC and the NHS throughout this process to ensure that we have continued to meet the highest possible standards of care.

"There have never been safeguarding concerns of any kind at our practice which will continue to provide first class, expert care to all our patients, who have been our primary concern throughout," they said.

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