Guilty: Hornchurch woman who illegally practised dentistry at high street beauty salon
- Credit: Archant
The beauty salon in Hornchurch was visited by two undercover investigators after it was seen to be offering tooth whitening treatments on its Facebook page.
A Polish dancer who had only been in the UK for three months when she was caught illegally posing as a dentist in Hornchurch has been fined £1,320.
Anita Klimecka-Stankiewicz, of Upper Rainham Road, was convicted of two different charges relating to using the protected term “dentist” and practicing dentistry while not registered to do so at Romford Magistrates Court yesterday (June 5).
The 47-year-old was charged after two undercover investigators from the General Dentistry Council (GDC) visited Beauty Box by Maggie, a beautician’s in North Street, Hornchurch, which was offering tooth whitening treatments on its Facebook page.
The GDC had previously received three complaints about the salon offering dental treatments unlawfully, which prompted its illegal practices team to launch a pro-active investigation.
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On October 25 last year, two former police officers working for the GDC visited the premises undercover.
Klimecka-Stankiewicz let them into the premises, and after a medical form was signed, led them to a treatment room in which there was an array of dental equipment including a tooth whitening laser light, a tray of syringes and other dental paraphernalia.
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Once in the room, she talked both investigators - who were under the impression the owner of the business, Magdalena Gouzd, was going to carry out the procedure - through the process.
At this point they each separately asked Klimecka-Stanciewicz if she was a dentist, to which she replied in English: “Yes, I am a dentist”.
This, the investigators deemed, was sufficient evidence to reveal themselves.
During the trial, the defendant, who claimed to work as a classically qualified dancer and said she was only briefly at the salon to visit a friend, used a Polish interpreter, and her defence centred around claims she did not understand English and had not known what was happening on October 25.
She also categorically denied ever saying anything to the two investigators apart from “I don’t know, I take Maggie”, while being questioned by the investigators.
She also claimed, via her interpreter, that she did not even understand conversational English, as she had no English friends and rarely had to speak it.
However, GDC investigator Shereen Shah, when pressed by defence barrister Andrew Horsell, insisted the defendant had spoken good English throughout the meeting.
She told the court: “At no point did I see that she was struggling to understand what I was saying, and if that had been the case my colleague and I would have stopped the interview and used an over-the-phone interpreter service.
“At no point did she look confused or say ‘I don’t understand’.
“She responded to each question posed to her without hesitation.”
When asked by prosecutor Fallon Alexis why, at no point during the 20-minute conversation between herself and the two investigators, Klimecka-Stankiewicz had not requested an interpreter, she replied: “I do not know English law.”
Ms Alexis also pointed out that the defendant was nodding in response to questions before her interpreter had translated them.
Passing sentence, District Judge Gary Lucie praised the testimony of both investigators, who he pointed out had “no axe to grind” with the defendant.
To Klimecka-Stanckiewicz, he said: “Your account makes no sense to me at all.
“In fact, to be frank with you, it’s completely unbelievable.
“The idea that two officers spend over 20 minutes in your company and you couldn’t understand a word they said is nonsensical in my view.”
The size of the fine Klimecka-Stankiewicz was to pay was also a point of contention, as she initially told the court she had no income.
After learning of this, Judge Lucie told the defence barrister: “I’ll be frank, I don’t really believe a word she said in the witness box, so I’m not really happy to accept she has no income when she is being represented by a private barrister.”
Klimecka-Stankiewicz was ordered to pay a £1,320 fine, with a further victim surcharge of £66 and court costs of £2,100, for a total of £3,486.