An “extreme body modification artist” has had his prison sentence reduced by several years after being jailed for killing one of his clients and inflicting long-term damage on two others..
Brendan Leigh Russell, 42, was sentenced last year to up to ten years in prison after being found guilty of a string of offenses including his role in the death of a client.
Following a trial before judge alone, he was found guilty of manslaughter, inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and female genital mutilation relating to procedures carried out on three women between 2015 and 2017.
One of his victims, who cannot be identified and who considered him a “God”, was found dead in his Central Coast home after having a synthetic snowflake implant inserted into his hand in her studio at Erina Fair Mall.
The court heard the woman had returned to Russell’s studio several times before his death and complained of pain and swelling in her right hand due to an infection.
Russell (pictured) will serve a seven-year sentence instead of the 10-year sentence he was given
Two days after her last visit to Russell, she was found dead from sepsis. Following a judge-alone trial in 2021, the body modifier was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Russell was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm after performing a botched “tummy tuck” on another woman in 2016.
A third charge of female genital mutilation related to the removal of part of a woman’s labia, with her consent, in January 2015.
The court heard the woman, who cannot be identified, had been in pain for 12 months, was unable to use tampons and experienced discomfort when wearing underwear.
Last year, Russell was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison with a non-parole period of seven years and six months. However, he appealed his conviction and sentence.
Body modification artist Brendan Russell put a snowflake on a 30-year-old woman who later died of blood poisoning. Photo: Supplied.
In a judgment handed down on Friday, the Court of Criminal Appeal overturned his conviction for female genital mutilation.
At an appeal hearing earlier this year, her lawyer Mark Tedeschi KC successfully argued that the offense of female genital mutilation does not apply to adult women who have consented to the procedure and do not undergo the operation for ritual practices.
Russell also appealed the length of his prison sentence, arguing that it was manifestly excessive.
However, Judges Andrew Bell, Kristina Stern and Natalie Adams upheld his sentence along with his two other convictions.
He was re-sentenced to seven years in prison, with a non-parole period of five years and three months. The body modifier will be eligible for release in December 2026.
Russell, who went by the name BSlice in the body modification industry, traveled across Australia showing off his skills with tools such as scalpels and body hooks at modification exhibitions.
He has also carried out procedures at his tattoo and body modification studio in Erina on the NSW Central Coast and at Tribal Urge Tattoo Studio in Newcastle.