Body modifier 'monster off the streets'

·3-min read

A mother whose daughter died after a body modifier implanted a silicon snowflake into her hand told him she truly believes a monster is off the streets.

In November Judge Helen Syme found Brendan Leigh Russell, 41, guilty of manslaughter, having deterred the 30-year-old woman from seeking medical attention after her implant became infected.

Her mother in Russell's NSW District Court sentence hearing on Wednesday said she missed her daughter "with every breath".

"My daughter is dead, (a child's) mother is dead and yet Brendan Russell still has not shown the slightest remorse any time nor has he accepted any responsibility.

"If (she) was here she would say 'I trusted him'.

"I can't begin to describe the pain we all feel every day. I don't get to hold my baby, not ever again."

During his trial she gave evidence her daughter considered Russell "a god".

"He's the only one I would ever let do this to me," she told her mother.

The body modifier who went by the monikers BSlice and hemostat inserted the snowflake into her hand at his Central Coast parlour on March 20, 2017.

On April 10 she complained about pain and possible infection, leading Russell to reopen her wound when blood and pus rushed out.

He then repositioned the implant, stitched the wound back up, advised against seeing a medical practitioner and to take painkillers instead.

Two days later she died from sepsis stemming from the infection.

"I was going to say there are no winners here, but there are because I truly believe a monster is being kept off the streets today," her mother said.

He was also found guilty of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm by performing a quasi-medical and "clearly dangerous" abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" on a 38-year-old woman in November 2016.

That woman on Wednesday said the public and extremely difficult trial caused a range of emotions - hurt, anger, sadness and disbelief.

"Brendan, you were not qualified to do that procedure on me, you did not provide a duty of care after and did not take responsibility," she said, adding her scarring was a constant reminder of her trauma.

"You did not care about what could have happened to me.

"My sons could have lost their mother but you didn't care.

"I wish I could turn back time, I wish our paths never crossed and I did not put my trust in you as a so-called professional and so-called friend."

He will also be sentenced for a third charge of female genital mutilation in Newcastle in January 2015, having used a branding iron in a procedure that left the woman unable to use tampons or wear underwear without discomfort.

Defence barrister Mark Tedeschi QC submitted that consent was a highly significant feature for the judge to consider.

"The three victims knew perfectly well what his qualifications and lack thereof were. The fact they might not have been provided a voluminous list of complications doesn't mean they haven't consented."

He also raised the legislation against female body modification as stamping out the "revolting and hideous practice done on defenceless children".

"It was not passed for adult women in full knowledge of their sexuality wishing to change the appearance of their genitals."

The Health Care Complaints Commission had made sure that Russell would never again practise tattooing, piercing, body modification or art, he said.

The Crown submitted no other punishment than full time custody was appropriate.

Russell awaits his sentence on July 4 from jail after failing to secure bail.

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