Vaimoana Tapaleao

Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

Underground dentist gets home detention

Sione Vailea in Manukau District Court.
Sione Vailea in Manukau District Court.

A man who ran an underground dental practice from his South Auckland home has been sentenced to four months home detention.

Sione Heinave Vailea appeared in the Manukau District Court this afternoon facing charges of criminal nuisance, performing a restricted activity, forgery and possession of prescription medicines.

The court heard how Vailea had carried out dental work including root canals, extractions and gold inlays from his Mangere home, despite not being a registered dentist.

A summary of facts showed pictures of where Vailea carried out his work; showing unhygenic conditions and old equipment.

The majority of patients were from the Tongan and wider Pacific community.
Vailea worked as a dental therapist in Tonga for many years, but was not qualified in that same area in New Zealand.

It is understood the offending carried on for about nine years.

Judge Fraser initially sentenced Vailea to 12 months imprisonment, but was later reduced to four months home detention.

The judge said he acknowledged Vailea's lack of previous convictions and a petition with more than 500 signatures from his community, showing their support.

- NZ Herald

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