Body modifier said he had no qualification

·2-min read

A NSW body modifier told his now-wife there was "no such thing as qualifications" in his field as health authorities investigated the death of a patient.

Brendan Leigh Russell, 40, is on trial for manslaughter after he placed a plastic snowflake in the hand of a woman weeks before her death in April 2017.

The Sydney District Court on Monday heard a recording of a phone call between Russell and his now-wife Maria Russell about a year after the patient's death and days after Health Care Complaints Commission placed restrictions on his business activities.

"There's no such thing as qualifications in it," the body modifier said in the April 2018 call.

"It goes off how good your work is."

The comment came after Ms Russell advised her new boyfriend to "try not to stress as it's not at police level" and to collect all the qualifications he had.

The court has previously heard Russell or his business held certificates in piercing, aftercare and maintaining infection control standards in an office setting.

Russell appeared to reference those certificates, in a comment about his lawyer sending the HCCC some material.

The 40-year-old has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and two other charges stemming from procedures in his studios on the NSW Central Coast.

A procedure on a woman's labia in 2015 is subject of a female genital mutilation charge while prosecutors allege Russell caused grievous bodily harm to a woman who paid $800 for a tummy tuck and was later hospitalised in 2016.

The HCCC's interim order meant Russell couldn't perform health services from April 19, 2018.

In the call, Ms Russell said it was "just at the health commission" level and Russell had "done amazing work".

"I don't think they will be able to pin you on anything," she said.

Ms Russell advised him to "go missing for a bit" and "get rid of everything" online that related to his use of anaesthetic.

Advice that Russell "be really careful about what you're pumping through the shop" was a reference to the body modifications and cash going through the studio's books, Ms Russell agreed on Monday.

"Your goal was for Brendan to not come to the attention of the authorities, wasn't it?" prosecutor Christopher Taylor asked.

"Yes," Ms Russell replied.

The trial continues.

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