News ID: 256000
Published: 1118 GMT July 19, 2019

Body modifier to stand trial over plastic snowflake implant death

Body modifier to stand trial over plastic snowflake implant death

An Australian body modifier will stand trial accused of causing a woman’s death by implanting a plastic snowflake under her right hand.

Brendan Leigh Russell, 38, was ordered to face Gosford District court in New South Wales on Friday after his failure to appear the previous day was attributed to starting a new job, the Guardian reported.

Defense lawyer Ahmed Dib told the court on Friday Russell did not appear in court on Thursday because of a miscommunication.

Dib said Russell had entered pleas of not guilty at his previous appearance in Gosford local court and did not think he had to attend on Thursday.

He said Russell, who formally pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges of manslaughter, female genital mutilation and causing grievous bodily harm, had been working at a new job to save money to pay legal fees for his upcoming trial.

Judge David Wilson ordered Russell to appear at the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney on July 26 for a trial date to be set.

The trial is expected to take three to four weeks.

Dib indicated he would be seeking to have separate trials for Russell and his co-accused, body modifier Howard Rollins.

Police claim Russell implanted the snowflake under Samantha Hegyl’s right hand in early 2017 but when she complained of being in pain, the body modifier allegedly urged her to visit him and not go to hospital.

Russell then allegedly rotated the snowflake and inserted a second one in Hegyl’s heavily infected hand but she died weeks later from blood poisoning.

Body modification is not legislated in NSW, however members of the so-called skin penetration industry are required to follow public health regulations.





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