EXCLUSIVE by Wendy Williams
A DODGY dentist has failed to show up in court after launching a lawsuit against the Olive Press for revealing his chequered past.
Rajkumar Rao had sued us for libel after we revealed that he had been TWICE struck off in the UK and – but for an administrative error – should not be practising in Spain.
We were forced to stump up over 5,000 euros to defend a string of stories about Raj Rao, who had even featured in a UK documentary called Dentists from Hell.
Yet, incredibly on the day he was due to make an appearance at Coin court, the Olive Press discovered him practising at his state-of-the-art surgery in Alhaurin el Grande.
His wife Saloni told us: “He will call if he wants to say anything. Please get out of my house.”
The withdrawal came as a big kick in the teeth for two local victims, who had turned up to support our case.
“It adds insult to injury,” said David Buchanan, 49, who travelled over 2,500 kilometres from Scotland to tell the judge how he had been left paralysed on one side of his face after an injection went wrong.
“It has been left permanently numb. When my children go to kiss me goodnight on that cheek, I still can’t feel it.”
Buchanan, who moved back to Falkirk last year, had attended the Spanish clinic suffering from severe pain in 2007.
“Rao told me I had an abscess in a tooth and I needed it removed immediately,” he explained.
“But he didn’t use any anaesthetic as he said it was dead and would not hurt.
“The next thing I knew I was suffering the worst pain of my life and was covered in blood and gore. That’s when he hastily injected the anaesthetic which somehow pierced my eye socket, paralysing half of my face.”
Buchanan – who was unable to work for seven months – could not close the eye for months and has lost his sense of taste.
Although he has since lost a criminal case against Rao, he has appealed and is proceeding with a civil claim.
“I will keep coming back until I get justice.”
Another victim Veronica Thomas was also furious about her wasted trip to Coin.
She came to tell the judge how she had paid Rao 760 euros to replace a dental plate, which broke within a fortnight.
“He said it would last for the rest of my life, but it broke two weeks later,” she explained.
After it broke a further two times, Thomas, 66, sent her husband Richard to do a ‘sit in’ at the practice until he got a full refund.
But after two hours of waiting, Rao called the police.
“He accused us of being just another British couple who had run out of money and was trying to weasel it back.”
Thomas added: “It was just so insulting and he can’t be allowed to keep doing this to innocent people.”
Despite the Olive Press speaking to other victims and suppliers, Sri Lankan-born Rao continues to advertise ‘world class dental care’ from The Alhaurin Dental Centre.
He was first struck off in the UK in 1998 for ‘serious professional misconduct’.
The British Dental Assocation heard details of six patients, including a 72-year-old who was given 22 crowns when she only needed seven.
Incredibly he was able to get his licence back after three years in 2001, but was stuck off again in 2004.
Oddly, this did not stop him getting a licence to practice through the Malaga College of Dentistry.
While a spokesman initially told the Olive Press that the college ‘knew nothing’ about his history, court documents show the body failed to get the necessary proof that he had a clean record.
Indeed, the college admitted that Rao had not provided a certificate, as required from the British Dental Association.
It merely accepted a personal declaration saying: ‘I do not have any proceedings against me’.
A letter to the judge insisted that because ‘10 years had lapsed’ and the person who approved it was ‘not working for the college now’, it was unable to explain this shortcoming.
A series of questions addressed to the college this week remain unanswered.