Sex pest dentist ‘can return to practise’

Anthony Barton
Anthony Barton

A SEX pest dentist who was struck off for prancing around in a leopard-print thong nearly five years ago was cleared to return to work.

Anthony Barton, 41, insists he has “grown up a lot” since he subjected three nurses to sexual conduct, including groping their bottoms and trying to undo their bras.

Whilst your behaviour was sexual in nature you have reflected extensively over a considerable period of time

Committee chairman Rachel O’Connell

The General Dental Council banned Barton from the profession in October 2009 after nearly eight years of “sexually-motivated behaviour” was exposed.

But his name will be added back onto the dentist register after a professional conduct and competence committee granted his application to be restored and go back to work.

For the next 12 months, he must keep the GDC up-to-date on his progress and remains banned from working as a locum.

Barton’s relationship with one 19-year-old trainee led to sex in the toilets at the Red Rose Dental Group in Wigan.

The dentist, who resigned from the practice after the allegations emerged, was found guilty of unprofessional, inappropriate and indecent sexual conduct towards three women between 2000 and 2008.

Twice-married Barton was found guilty of unprofessional and inappropriate conduct towards a fourth young dental nurse and was struck off for a serious breach of trust of several vulnerable employees.

A contrite Barton told the hearing this week: “It is quite clear to me now looking back that a lot of my actions were completely inappropriate and had no place in practise at all. I have grown up a lot.”

Committee chairman Rachel O’Connell said: “The committee found your evidence before it to be honest and sincere. You gave evidence for some two and half hours, during which time you were examined by both counsel and answered questions from each member of the committee.

“The committee is in no doubt that you are remorseful and ashamed of the conduct which led to your erasure in 2009 and that you have reflected extensively over the last five years.

“You understand now how inappropriate your offensive sexual behaviour was and the impact it had on those who were subjected to it.

“The committee considered the risk of repetition to be low. Whilst your behaviour was sexual in nature you have reflected extensively over a considerable period of time.”

The dentist had told the panel he was now working as a manager at a Smiles Dental in Anglesey, Wales, and has to endure a 180-mile commute every day.

Barton of, Warrington, admitted having a six-month affair with dental nurse Ms B and was found guilty of having sex with her during surgery hours.

He was found guilty of multiple allegations of touching Ms A, Ms C and Ms D, and that his behaviour was unprofessional, inappropriate and indecent.