West Midlands dentist gets 7 years for £1.5 million fraud

Dr Joyce Trail Photo:

A West Midlands dentist who lived a luxury globe-trotting lifestyle while conning the NHS out of £1.5 million has been jailed for seven years.

Dr Joyce Trail perpetrated the three-year fraud to fund stays in £1,000-a-night hotel suites in the United States and the Caribbean, and pay for a designer shoe collection "to make Imelda Marcos proud".

Jailing Trail at Coventry Crown Court, Judge Peter Carr said the 50-year-old grandmother's offences had been motivated by pure greed.

Trail, who ran a practice in Handsworth, Birmingham, is thought to have netted around £1.4 million by making bogus claims for dental work which she had not performed between April 2006 and March 2009.

A further £94,000 in employer's contributions was paid into Trail's pension during the period of the indictment, bringing total proceeds from the fraud to £1,556,743.

Judge Carr was told that the sum could have instead funded 73 newly-qualified nurses for a year, 221 hip replacements, or life-saving drugs for 51 leukaemia patients.

Trail, of Park Drive, Little Aston, Sutton Coldfield, was convicted of conspiracy to defraud in July following a five-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Jailing Trail, who pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice before her trial, Judge Carr said he believed the roots of the offences lay in an earlier NHS investigation into her conduct.

The judge told her: "In 2004 you were investigated. The result of that investigation was that it was decided that you had over-claimed in relation to services you provided.

"You were ordered to pay back over £320,000."