A CONVICTED loan shark has won £15,000 in compensation in a legal settlement over ‘inadequate’ dental treatment.

In August 2017 John McCullagh was jailed for 15 months at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to illegal money-lending.

His partner Karen Roberts, 58, received a nine-month suspended prison sentence and told to carry out 160 hours’ unpaid work after she was found guilty by a jury of laundering cash from her partner’s illegal money-lending business.

In April last year the couple were ordered to pay back £50,322 of their ill-gotten gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002). It has now emerged businessman Mr McCullagh, 54, of Isleworth Drive, Chorley, secured the £15,000 compensation settlement last year from the mydentist practice of Dole Lane in the town.

The out-of-court settlement followed dentists from the practice fitting a dental bridge which had to be re-cemented five times and Mr McCullagh losing a tooth after they failed to spot and treat decay. The dental practice did not admit liability.

Mr McCullagh had pleaded guilty in August 2017 to illegal money-lending between July 2008 and August 2016.

Judge Simon Newell said on passing a sentence of 15 months' imprisonment: “You were never at any stage authorised to lend money. The people who you lent money to were financially vulnerable and the interest rates you charged were high.”

At the initial hearing, prosecutor Jonathan Barker told the court: “Mr McCullagh’s customers were often in a vulnerable financial position and were charged £50 interest for every £100 borrowed.”

He told how one victim was shouted at by the defendant and was told that he would send ‘the big boys around’ if she did not pay him.

Mr Barker said Mr McCullagh shouted at another victim as she could not afford to repay him because she had to buy flowers for an aunt’s funeral.

His legal settlement with mydentist was secured with the help of specialist dental negligence solicitors, the Dental Law Partnership.

They claimed his dentists failed to spot and treat decay and also botched the fitting of his dental bridge, which led to it being re-cemented five times in three months.

Mr McCullagh visited Dr Daniel Anderton between December 2008 and July 2014 and Dr Susan McBride from September 2015 to October 2016. Both practised at the Chorley mydentist practice.

Mr McCullagh, owner of Trade Cleaning Supplies, of Chorley Business Park, said: “I’m not one to complain, but the pain really was bad.

“When it was bad, the pain was constant, it was relentless. I couldn’t eat, drink, sleep or anything. At its worst it was affecting all areas of my life.

“Then after a while it subsided a bit but it soon started again and was worse than ever. Eventually, in September 2015, I saw Dr McBride who finally extracted my tooth. I remember wondering why it had taken the dentist so long to extract it if that’s what was needed.”

In September 2015, Dr McBride fitted a dental bridge to replace a different tooth that had previously been removed. Unfortunately, only a year later the bridge fell out.

Mr McCullagh said: “Five times that bridge had to be re-cemented – in three months

“The inconvenience of having your teeth drop out while working, eating or doing anything for that matter, is infuriating. The inconvenience didn’t end at having no teeth though. It meant going back to the dentist time and time again, which was very unpleasant. The whole ordeal has been a nightmare.”

The Dental Law Partnership’s analysis of Mr McCullagh’s dental records revealed that Dr Anderton had failed to spot and treat decay clearly visible on X-rays taken as far back as 2008 and had placed a filling on top of the decay, causing Mr McCullagh prolonged periods of severe toothache and ultimately resulting in the tooth being lost.

Sadie Cartwright, of the Dental Law Partnership, said: “The distress and pain our client experienced was completely unnecessary.

“If the dentists had carried out adequate treatment in the first place, all his problems could have been avoided.”

Dr Anderton said: “I cannot comment as I am unable to discuss individual patents or their treatment.”

Dr McBride no longer works at the practice.