Friend’s heartbreaking text to woman who died after snowflake implant: court

Heath Parkes-HuptonNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: Supplied

A court has been shown the heartbreaking text message a friend sent a woman who died after undergoing a body modification procedure at a Central Coast tattoo parlour.

It was April 12, 2017 and the friend had seen what looked like “tribute posts” on social media for the woman who had been “her normal happy self” just two days before.

“Hey … is everything OK? I’ve just seen some stuff on Facebook and I just wanted to make sure your (sic) OK x,” the text message read.

DOWNING CENTRE
Camera IconBrendan Leigh Russell is on trial for charges related to body modification procedures. NCA NewsWire / James Gourley Credit: News Corp Australia

The woman, who can’t be identified, had been found dead by her young daughter that morning after complaining of pain and bleeding in her right hand – where a silicone snowflake had been implanted weeks earlier.

Brendan Leigh Russell, a body modification artist who performed the procedure, is on trial for the woman’s manslaughter before NSW District Court.

The 40-year-old has pleaded not guilty and denies allegations his work caused a blood infection resulting in the woman’s death.

On Friday, a witness who knew the alleged victim from school and later when their children became friends at daycare was called to give evidence.

The alleged victim, who can’t be named.
Camera IconThe alleged victim, who can’t be named. Credit: Supplied
The court has heard the woman thought of Russell like a ‘God’.
Camera IconThe court has heard the woman thought of Russell like a ‘God’. Credit: Supplied

She described the alleged victim as a dedicated mother who was always positive and outgoing.

The woman made no secret of her passion for body modification, the witness said: “That was what she enjoyed and she never hid it away.”

On April 10, the two planned to meet at a local park with their children for a playdate but the friend said the woman and her daughter ended up visiting her house due to rain.

“She was her normal happy self,” the woman’s friend said. “She said she was in a little bit of pain … she said (her hand) just wasn’t feeling right.”

The friend said she offered the woman some tissues for her hand, which was “bleeding quite a bit”.

A similar implant to the one the woman received.
Camera IconA similar implant to the one the woman received. Credit: Supplied

The court heard the woman had visited Mr Russell’s shop Transition at Erina earlier that day, as seen in a text message she had sent to the friend.

“I’m just getting something fixed with one of my implants,” she had written.

The friend said while at her home the woman was in so much discomfort she became “quite worried” and left to go see Mr Russell again.

Two days later, she saw posts on Facebook appearing to suggest the woman had died and texted her to check in.

Instead of receiving a reply, the woman’s mother called to deliver the grim news.

Mr Russell is also on trial for separate charges of genital female mutilation and causing grievous bodily harm, allegedly committing during procedures on two different women in 2015 and 2016.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The trial continues.

Originally published as Friend’s heartbreaking text to woman who died after snowflake implant: court

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