A mother was told by her daughter a NSW body modifier was “a god” before finding her dead with an infected implant in her blackened hand, a court has been told.
Brendan Leigh Russell, 40, has pleaded not guilty to the woman’s manslaughter after inserting a plastic snowflake into her hand shortly before her April 2017 death.
Her name has been suppressed by the court.
The woman received nine procedures involving scarification and body modification by Russell who she completely trusted, her mother told the NSW District Court on Thursday.
Russell, known by the moniker Bslice Dot Com, had been working at Erina Fair Shopping Centre when the woman became convinced by his travelling the world and performing such procedures, despite knowing it was illegal.
“She said ‘you don’t understand mum to me Brendan is a god and a lot of people think so, he’s the only one I would ever let do anything like this to me,” she said.
Months later her mother was shocked to find out Russell had created love hearts on both of her daughter’s nipples.
“Brendan said to her ‘it’s never been done in the world before. If you let me do it for you I’ll do it at a cheaper rate,’ so she agreed.”
But she was horrified to see the snowflake “so big” underneath her skin, and commented that it looked infected three days before she died.
“She said ‘It’s OK mum I’m seeing Brendan tomorrow he’s going to clean it up for me’.
“I saw there was no stitches in the incision, it’s like it had popped open, it was green and yellow it was clearly infected.”
The woman visited Russell twice the next day, after she had “never seen so much blood” that would not stop coming out of her hand, she said.
“I didn’t know at that time, Brendan Russell had put a second implant in her already infected hand that day,” she said.
The night before she died the “really strange” way she sounded on the phone had worried her mother.
But her daughter said she needed rest and would speak tomorrow.
The next morning her daughter’s phone number called and she picked up asking ‘Hi darling what’s wrong?’ as she never usually called so early.
“(Her) neighbour screamed down the phone (she’s) dead. There was no other conversation.”
She rushed over and found her daughter had been dead for at least two hours but all present continued administering her CPR.
Her left ear and lips were blue and “her whole hand looked black”, she said.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Michal Mantaj she was asked if her memory regarding certain events had been inaccurate.
‘I saw there was no stitches in the incision, it’s like it had popped open, it was green and yellow it was clearly infected.’
“No it’s very accurate,” she said.
“Is it correct to say you blame Mr Russell for (her) death?”
“You’d be angry at him for that?”
“Only after I got the cause of death as septicemia did I initially think Brendan Russell, yes, was responsible for her death.”
Russell also denies a charge of female genital mutilation and another for intentionally causing grievous bodily harm over an alleged botched “tummy tuck”.
The judge-alone trial continues.