Two ‘whitening’ cases fail in Scotland

Two -whitening- cases fail in Scotland

Two women have been cleared of illegally carrying out tooth whitening at a beauty salon in Scotland. In the first case shop owner Cheryl Dickson was cleared of illegal dentistry work after offering teeth whitening. The second was a case of mistaken identity when charges against Sharon Frew were dropped at the Sheriff’s Court.

Case No 1

Cheryl Dickson, who runs Beauty by Cheryl in Glasgow, has been cleared of carrying out illegal dentistry work. She told Lyndsay Grant, who had been instructed by a private investigator, of the services she offered when she visited her shop for a treatment. Among these was teeth whitening, carried out by putting gel on a gum shield shining a light to activate it. She detailed the brand of product and the cost, as well as how it worked.

Mrs Grant, 46, and her husband Steven left Beauty by Cheryl on Shettleston Road in the east end of Glasgow and sent a report to a private investigators firm. Miss Dickson stood trial accused of being someone who is not a registered dentist or dental professional, holding herself out as practising or as being prepared to practise dentistry on January 23 2016.

She denied the charge and her defence lawyer Richard Burke argued there was an insufficiency of evidence. He told Glasgow Sheriff Court: “There is no evidence whatsoever about the practise of dentistry before this court today.” Sheriff Shona Gilroy agreed with his submission that the Crown did not lead evidence that what Miss Dickson did amounted to dentistry, and acquitted her.

In evidence Mrs Grant said she booked an appointment with Beauty by Cheryl, to get her nails done. She and her husband spoke to Miss Dickson on the day they went to the salon, and asked about her other services, and the cost. Mrs Grant said Miss Dickson said she did teeth whitening used a product called Natural White. Miss Dickson told them the product had no peroxide in it and that a dentist was needed for peroxide.

On hearing Mrs Grant had a bad experience with teeth whitening Miss Dickson said: “You probably had a big red guard that’s forced in your mouth. Natural white is nothing like that, more like a gum shield.” Asked if she put the gum shield in, she said “I put the gel on you just pop it in your mouth.”

Case No 2

In the second case, Sharon Frew, 41, was falsely accused of illegally carrying out tooth whitening at a beauty salon and passing herself off as a qualified practitioner and made two appearances in court as a suspect. But the charges were dropped after prosecutors carried out an investigation into her claims of innocence.

They discovered Sharon may have been the victim of an identity fraud, with the real suspect using Sharon’s name and date of birth. Now the Crown Office faces a possible compensation claim from the mum of two.

The original teeth whitening probe is believed to have been carried out by two officials from the General Dental Council. They visited the Just Beautiful salon in Irvine, Ayrshire, in October 2015 after complaints about a suspected illegal tooth whitening service. The investigators accused the owner of carrying out the procedures without being registered as a dentist or dental care professional. She was told she was being reported to the procurator fiscal. The owner, who is believed to be of Indian origin, told them her name was Sharon Frew and gave her date of birth as December 1975.

When the woman failed to turn up for a trial at a Sheriff Court in May, Sheriff
Elizabeth McFarlane granted a warrant for her arrest. But police officers could not find an address for the accused. The shop where the suspect had once traded had also changed names and was under new ownership. Officers then checked the voters’ roll and found an address which matched the date of birth given.

When they called at her home, Sharon said she had never worked in a salon and knew nothing about teeth whitening. A few days later, she got a call to say she had to appear for a trial hearing in June. Sharon had to make a second appearance in August when a trial date was set for September 26, while inquiries were carried out into her claims of mistaken identity.

The mum racked up lawyer fees as she was not entitled to legal aid. But before she was due to appear, the charges were dropped. Sharon declined to comment but a family source said: “She’s facing lawyer bills for hundreds of pounds. She is angry the court put her through months of hell.”

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