TECHNOLOGY

Body modifier Brendan Russell, accused of killing a hand implant client, does not appear in court


The body modifier accused of killing a client with a plastic snowflake hand implant does not appear in court because he started a new job

  • Brendan Leigh Russell did not appear before the Gosford District Court on Thursday
  • 38-year-old Russell shouldn't literally admit guilty of manslaughter
  • Also charged with female genital mutilation and serious bodily harm
  • He is accused of having implanted plastic snowflakes into a woman's hand, resulting in death
  • Another man accused of female genital mutilation – Howard Rollins – appeared in court
  • The 42-year-old Rollins, who calls himself "Luna Cobra", literally didn't plead guilty

A body modifier accused of having implanted a plastic snowflake in a woman's hand, leading to blood poisoning that resulted in her death, has not appeared in court for starting a new job.

38-year-old Brendan Leigh Russell was due to appear before the Gosford District Court on the central coast of New South Wales on Thursday.

He was expected not to plead guilty to manslaughter, female genital mutilation, and serious physical injury.

A body modifier accused of having implanted a plastic snowflake into a woman's hand (pictured), causing blood poisoning that resulted in her death, has not appeared in court because he started a new job

38-year-old Brendan Leigh Russell was due to appear before the Gosford District Court on the central coast of New South Wales on Thursday

38-year-old Brendan Leigh Russell was due to appear before the Gosford District Court on the central coast of New South Wales on Thursday

"He chose to go to work rather than go to court to face serious charges," said Judge David Wilson when he said Russell would not appear because of his new job.

The judge ordered Russell to appear before him on Friday, where he is not expected to be found guilty and a trial date is set.

His lawyer is expected to file separate lawsuits against Russell and his co-accused body modifier Howard Rollins on Friday.

Police say Russell implanted the snowflake under Samantha Hegyl's right hand in early 2017, but when she complained of pain, the body modifier reportedly asked her to visit him and not go to the hospital.

Russell then reportedly turned the snowflake and stuck a second hand in Ms. Hegyl's badly infected hand, but she died weeks later.

Russell is also accused of using a branding iron to mutilate another customer's genitals.

Court documents said Russell, who is not a qualified doctor and had used his "nickname" Bslicedotcom on social media, maimed the woman by "burning her labia with a branding iron from the victim in Newcastle West in early 2016".

Russell's third alleged victim was a woman who visited his Erina tattoo and body modification store in late 2016 for a tummy tuck, but ended up in the hospital with a five-centimeter hole in her skin and severed abdominal muscles.

Police say Russell implanted the snowflake under Samantha Hegyl's right hand in early 2017, but when she complained of pain, the body modifier reportedly asked her to visit him and not go to the hospital (archive image)

Police say Russell implanted the snowflake under Samantha Hegyl's right hand in early 2017, but when she complained of pain, the body modifier reportedly asked her to visit him and not go to the hospital (archive image)

The 42-year-old Rollins, who calls himself "Luna Cobra", appeared in court on Thursday, where he was formally known to support and favor female genital mutilation, who was not guilty of guilt.

Rollins is accused of having trained Russell to carry out the 2016 procedure, which allegedly used the branding iron.

Body modifications are not required by law in NSW, but members of the skin penetration industry must follow public health regulations.

Russell's Instagram profile included pictures of split tongues, implants under the skin, and "scarification" – etching or burning of permanent patterns in the skin.

Howard Rollins (pictured), 42, who calls himself "Luna Cobra", appeared before a court on Thursday, where he formally declared himself guilty of not guilty of supporting and favoring female genital mutilation

Howard Rollins (pictured), 42, who calls himself "Luna Cobra", appeared before a court on Thursday, where he formally declared himself guilty of not guilty of supporting and favoring female genital mutilation

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