Dentist secretly stalked by crossbow-carrying patient out for revenge

Telegraph reporters
·5-min read
dentist
dentist

A top dentist was secretly stalked by a disgruntled patient carrying a "murder kit" with a crossbow, mask and kitchen knife hidden in his car.

Thomas Baddeley, 42, spent four years trailing orthodontist Dr Ian Hutchinson to plot revenge over his dental treatment at his private practice called the "Smile Lounge".

Businessman Baddeley even made a chilling timetable for "The Event" - including notes about how to avoid leaving fingerprints and what he should say to the police if caught.

A court heard Baddeley bought 30 different second-hand cars not to be spotted as he staked out the dentist's home and work routine to plan his revenge.

But he was caught when a worried neighbour spotted him sitting in a car with a black balaclava hood - and police were alerted.

Officers found a crossbow, black ski mask, pack of bolts, kitchen knife, torch, gloves, lighters, hammer, dust sheets, Dettol bleach, sunglasses and surface wipes.

Prosecutor Nigel Fryer said: "It is perhaps not hyperbole to call that a murder kit."

Dentist Dr Hutchinson, 52, had no idea his ex-patient was stalking him until the police knocked on his door - and was left "extremely distressed".

Dr Hutchinson told officers Baddeley was a patient at his surgery in Chepstow, Gwent, until 2016 when he saw him regularly to tighten his braces.

He said property company director Baddeley claimed the private treatment for his receding gums was "poisoning him".

Dr Hutchinson said his patient made the "bizarre request" for the orthodontist to put two teeth back into his mouth.

He tried to reassure his patient and thought he was going to make a formal complaint - but he did not hear from him again.

But Dr Hutchinson - former chairman of the British Lingual Orthodontic Society, a member of the British Association of Cosmetic Dentistry and a judge on the UK Aesthetic Dentistry Awards panel - was secretly being stalked.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how "surveillance logs" recovered from the Citroen car and Baddeley's home showed he had stalked the dentist for years.

It showed he had been keeping Dr Hutchinson under "systematic surveillance" for years at the Smile Lounge.

Mr Fryer described the logs as "meticulous and detailed" - and Dr Hutchinson confirmed they were accurate.

One document was a schedule counting down to "The Event" setting out what Baddeley should be doing the week before, the day before and that morning.

Mr Fryer added: "In the context of what was found in the vehicle it is disturbing. "The Event" appears to have been planned meticulously. There is no specific reference to murder but there is strong circumstantial evidence that this was "The Event."

The schedule included notes about the location of CCTV cameras, how not to leave fingerprints, and arrangements for a change of clothes. It also included plans for what he would do if he was stopped and what he would say in a police interview.

Mr Fryer told the court: "He was that good at stalking, Mr Hutchinson was not aware of it."

Baddeley told police the crossbow was for a hobby, not intending to hurt anyone.

He told officers he became disatisfied with his dental treatment with Dr Hutchinson.

Mr Fryer said: "He believed Mr Hutchinson was hiding the truth from him.

"He started following and researching Mr Hutchinson. This intensified in time. He initially wanted to see if anyone else had been disatisfied with treatment. He found it satisfying that he could see Mr Hutchinson but he could not see him.

Baddeley admitted following him from work including to his dental courses but he refused to discuss his mental health.

Married Dr Hutchinson was "utterly shocked" when the police knocked on his door and told him what had been happening.

Mr Fryer said: "He had absolutely no idea he had been stalked over the years. He has since had nightmares about Baddeley holding a knife to his throat."

He found it "extremely distressing" for the safety of his family - and was not sure if he wanted to carry on in the dental profession.

In a victim impact statement Dr Hutchinson said he and his family felt "extremely vulnerable" after Baddeley mentioned certain family members in his surveillance notes.

He said he thought his former patient was looking for "some sort of revenge" adding: "I do believe I will be looking over my shoulder expecting Mr Baddeley to be nearby for the rest of my life."

Dr Hutchinson considered giving up the job he loves but has "staff and patients who rely on him".

Baddeley, of Montpellier, Bristol, admitted stalking and possessing a knife and an offensive weapon.

Lucy Crowther, defending, said he did accept becoming "obsessed" and performing surveillance on his dentist.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins said: "The facts of this case are chilling. You stalked him like a hunter stalks his quarry.

"You tracked and recorded his movements and followed him around. You are a highly intelligent man which makes this all the more sinister.

"I am in no doubt you intended to cause some harm Mr Hutchinson. It is difficult to envisage a more serious case than this of its kind."

At Friday's hearing, Baddeley was sent to prison for 16 months and the judge made an order for the crossbow, knife, and surveillance notes to be destroyed.

Judge Jenkins also imposed an indefinite restraining order - and warned Baddeley he could face five years in prison if he breaches it.