Dentist cleared of misconduct after threatening to out gay colleague

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A dentist who threatened to out a gay colleague to his family has been cleared of misconduct.

According to the Leicester Mercury, a panel from the General Dental Council heard how before the row, Dr Muhammad Raza had a close working relationship with the man, who has not been named.

When the pair fell out in November 2011, Dr Raza had sent a number of text messages to the man – who was a closeted gay Muslim – threatening to out him to his family.

The committee ruled that while the exchange had been homophobic, it did not constitute misconduct because it did not take place in the workplace.

Tom Kirk-Smythe of the GDC said: “It is the General Dental Council’s case that these are abusive, degrading and threatening messages and involve family members.

“We say the texts were designed to threaten his colleague’s family life and were, objectively speaking, homophobic, insulting and threatening.

“They were also unprofessional, inappropriate and discriminatory.”

Panel chairman Brent Weller said: “The committee considered that as this exchange amounted to a personal and private argument, away from the workplace, it cannot be categorised as misconduct.

“It is important that the text messages are seen in their context.

“If the matters had been said in a public context, in front of patients, colleagues or members of the public, the committee may well have taken a different view.”