Fines for illegal tooth whitening still rising

Fines for illegal tooth whitening still rising

A Derby man has been ordered to pay more than £7,000 by the courts after being found guilty of illegally tooth whitening, that left woman ’in pain’. A London man, Jeffery Lehmann, has been ordered to pay more than £15,000, after having his previous conviction for illegal tooth whitening upheld. The failed appeal related to a 2017 conviction.


Colin Vernall and was carrying out the service at Unique Fitness Studio, Derby. The owner of the studio said that, as soon as he became aware of concerns over Vernall, he was stopped from using the building. A person complained to local Trading Standards after she reported feeling a sharp pain in her teeth during the illegal procedure. Vernall replied that it was a normal effect of tooth whitening. Trading standards took the complaint to the General Dental Council (GDC), which prosecuted Vernall, who did not attend the hearing.

In his ruling, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: "I take a serious view of [illegal tooth whitening] cases, because of the obvious risk to public health by unlicensed individuals who practise for financial gain. He was warned on numerous occasions by the GDC yet proceeded to carry on for commercial gain. I believe there needs to be a substantial deterrent for other people who act in this way.” Vernall was ordered to pay a fine of £5,000, a victim surcharge of £170 and the GDC’s legal costs of £2,126.

Alan Sikara, who co-owns Unique Fitness Studio, said: "We had a letter from the GDC and Vernall told us who was going to deal with it and he said there was not a problem. He seemed very relaxed about it. Then, we got another letter, so we asked him to leave. There’s not a chance he will be coming back."


Jeffery Lehmann, has been ordered to pay more than £15,000 by Isleworth Crown Court, after having his previous conviction for illegal tooth whitening upheld. The failed appeal related to a 2017 conviction, which also saw Mr Lehmann issued with the first ever Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) for the offence and prohibited him from providing dental services. At the original hearing in 2017, Mr Lehmann was ordered to pay more than £10,000, an amount which has now grown to more £15,000 to cover the costs of his failed appeal.

Mr Lehmann, a former dental technician, was removed from the GDC’s professional register in May 2012 for acting outside his scope of practice, causing harm to patients, failing to accept professional accountability for his actions and acting without integrity. Following a report received by the GDC in October 2016 that Mr Lehmann was offering tooth whitening, the regulator launched an investigation. Mr Lehmann subsequently held himself out to undercover investigators as being prepared to practise dentistry, namely tooth whitening, illegally.

In ruling, Mr Recorder Bellamy-James QC said: “We consider he [Mr Lehmann] intentionally and flagrantly flouted the law and regulatory system. In evidence to us he showed an arrogant disregard for the policy of the law, the law and public safety... Harm to the public does not have to be shown but you could be described as a “charlatan” and we might agree with that description. You have your own view of policy and law and it was obvious from your own evidence that you do not approve of the law. You do not think it should apply to you, but it is there because of public risk.”


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