Mother woke up screaming in pain and covered in blood after a ‘botched’ BSlice Dot Com tummy tuck

As her two kids got haircuts in a shopping centre barbershop, a young mother’s bemoaning about the size of her belly caught Brendan Leigh Russell’s attention.

The shop’s resident body modifier, known by moniker BSlice Dot Com, allegedly offered to help out with a ‘tummy tuck’.

‘Brendan said he’d done that before… (he) pretty much said it was a pretty easy procedure,’ the mother told the Sydney District Court.

But the allegedly unqualified Russell is now accused of leaving the woman bleeding heavily, writhing in ‘extreme pain’ and needing significant medical intervention to correct his work.

The 40-year-old has pleaded not guilty to intentionally causing grievous bodily harm in the back of his shop Transition in Erina Fair Shopping Centre in November 2016.

He has also denied charges of manslaughter and female genital mutilation related to two other women he operated on in 2015 and 2017.    

Brendan Leigh Russell, 40, pleaded not guilty to intentionally causing grievous bodily harm in the back of his shop Transition in Erina Fair Shopping Centre in November 2016

Brendan Leigh Russell, 40, pleaded not guilty to intentionally causing grievous bodily harm in the back of his shop Transition in Erina Fair Shopping Centre in November 2016

Judge Helen Syme, hearing the trial without a jury, has suppressed the identity of all three complainants.

The judge was told on Monday the tummy tuck procedure was performed under local anaesthetic for $800.  

The woman admits she knew he wasn’t a trained plastic surgeon or a doctor but denies he warned her of several risks before operating on her. 

‘Whatever he was saying back then, he was so confident and very convincing and I felt like I was in really good hands and I felt he knew what he was doing,’ the woman said.

The procedure stemmed from a comment in mid-2016 in which the woman lamented the size of her stomach as her children’s hair was cut in Russell’s shop.

When Russell said he could help, she raised her desire for an ‘Elle Macpherson tummy’ and asked, ‘am I going to look like that after?’ the court was told on Tuesday. 

The procedure stemmed from a comment in mid-2016 in which the woman lamented the size of her stomach as her children’s hair was cut in Russell’s shop.

When Russell said he could help, she raised her desire for an ‘Elle Macpherson tummy’ and asked, ‘am I going to look like that after?’ the court was told on Tuesday.

Police claim Russell implanted the snowflake under another woman'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. She later died and he is accused of her manslaughter (stock image)

Police claim Russell implanted the snowflake under another woman’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. She later died and he is accused of her manslaughter (stock image)

Hobbling around Erina Fair with her sister in the days before Christmas 2016, the woman said Russell came up and spoke to her.

‘Brendan stated ‘look at the way you’re walking, it looks like you’ve been f**ked up the arse,’ the woman said.

Under cross-examination on Tuesday, the woman denied the body modifier had actually opened with ‘how are you?’.

‘I suggest you said to him “I’m fine, just a bit sore and tired” and that was the extent of it,’ lawyer Michal Mantaj said.

‘No,’ the woman said, saying that as well as the ‘f**ked up the arse’ line, he’d mentioned his search for presents, how he couldn’t handle crowds and how he wanted to get out of there.

She said Russell allayed her fears about remaining awake during the procudure, boasting of his ‘quite… good reputation’ and how a surgeon had remarked his application of local anaesthetic was ‘amazing’.

The body modifier donned gloves but no surgical mask or gown before he sliced into the woman’s abdomen, removed a strip of skin measuring about 20cm and stitched the wound.

His aftercare instructions? Rest up, have Advill (ibuprofen) and return in about a week to have sutures removed, according to the woman.

Brendan Leigh Russell (pictured outside court in May) has also denied charges of manslaughter and female genital mutilation related to two other women he operated on in 2015 and 2017.

Brendan Leigh Russell (pictured outside court in May) has also denied charges of manslaughter and female genital mutilation related to two other women he operated on in 2015 and 2017.

At home on the couch, she took Nurofen – another ibuprofen brand – as well as some diazepam and tried to sleep.

‘I just woke up in extreme pain… (my husband) looked at my nightie and there was fresh blood everywhere, the lounge was covered in blood,’ she told the court.

She later stumbled and collapsed on the floor, causing her and husband to panic.

‘He phoned Brendan. All I remember is (my husband) saying there’s blood everywhere,’ she said.

Through her husband, Russell allegedly advised the Nurofen treatment cease, Advill begin and the compression bandage be removed.

‘It just kept bleeding from the wound, my dressings were full of blood,’ she said.

Russell removed some stitches at a follow-up appointment, applied steri-strips and put the substantial bleeding down to ‘the way your body is healing’.

On the advice of friends and a GP, the woman reluctantly went to Gosford Hospital, where she was booked for surgery and stayed two nights.

Further corrective surgery resolved her pain and mobility issues but left a long, thin scar stretching from hip to hip, the court was told.

The woman denied Russell said ‘of course I care’ when he visited her at her home after her hospital surgery or that he’d offered her to refund the $800 cost of the procedure.

‘No… he suggested he could have fixed the problem for me and I didn’t need to go to the hospital,’ the woman said.

‘That (refund) was my husband and I – we decided we wanted a full refund for what I’d been through.’

The court was told the woman was told ‘nothing’ in a pre-procedure consultation about the potential for wound bleeding or the risks of internal bleeding or infection.

‘Internal bleeding was never ever spoken about,’ she said.

The woman denied suggestions the body modifier had described the tummy tuck as a ‘big procedure’ or that his lack of a mask during the procedure was because she’d mentioned ‘it was intimidating’.

‘That is not what happened,’ the woman replied.

She also denied telling Russell in the days after the procedure: ‘I’m really sore I did something stupid, I tried to do a bit of work.’

Despite the issues, the woman refused to give up Russell’s name until she saw media reports in 2018 that he’d been charged with mutilating a customer’s genitals with a branding iron.

‘She was getting annihilated on social media and I felt sorry for her,’ the mother said.

‘I felt like if someone else came forward as well, maybe people would realise that these things happen.’ 

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