Mother, 31, died from blood poisoning following body modification

EXCLUSIVE: Death of a mother, 31, after having a silicon implant inserted in her HAND by an extreme body modifier is being investigated by police – as it’s revealed he ‘used a branding iron’ to burn off part of another woman’s genitals

  • Police are investigating  the death of Central Coast mum Samantha Strickland
  • Ms Strickland died in April, 2017, from septicaemia – which is a blood infection
  • The mother, and piercer, had an implant inserted by Brendan Russell in 2017
  • Police are investigating whether there is a direct link between the body modification procedure and her death
  • Do you know more about this story? Email [email protected] 

Police are investigating whether the death of a mother from blood poisoning was directly linked to a procedure she had performed by body modifier Brendan Russell.

Samantha Strickland, 31, died in April 2017 after she contracted septicaemia, or blood poisoning. 

The mother from the NSW Central Coast, had been a customer of Russell prior to her death, where she had a sub-dermal silicon implant placed in her hand.

Samantha Strickland, 31, died in April 2017 after she contracted septicaemia, police are investigating

Russell, 37, pictured, was charged last week with prohibition of genital mutilation after he allegedly used a branding iron to burn off part of a woman’s vagina

Police said they are also looking at complaints by other former customers of Russell who have come forward since he was charged

Russell, 37, was charged last week with prohibition of genital mutilation after he allegedly used a branding iron to burn off part of a woman’s vagina.

Russell has only been charged with the one alleged offence, and is on bail.

NSW Police confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that detectives from Strike Force Nellivale – which was set up to investigate Russell and the body modification industry –  are currently probing Ms Strickland’s death as part of their inquiries.

A police source said the woman had a procedure by Russell in 2017, and allegedly ‘went back to him several times to get it fixed after it became grossly infected’.  

There is no suggestion that the infection was caused by Russell but only that she suffered from an infection. 

Ms Strickland, pictured here following a fresh haircut, the week before her death

Russell has only been charged with the one alleged offence, and is on bail

The body modification artist is pictured here posing with a client he worked on

Body piercer charged with genital mutilation allegedly ‘used a branding iron’ to ‘burn off’ part of a woman’s vagina during unlicensed operation in the back of tattoo shop

Brendan Russell, 37, from the NSW Central Coast, was charged last week with prohibition of genital mutilation, after a former customer went to police.

Court documents allege that Russell ‘used a branding iron to burn off the labia majora’ of the woman. 

The alleged genital mutilation took place between January 1 and December 31 in 2016, according to the court documents. 

Police allege the woman went to Russell at his workplace, a tattoo studio in Newcastle West.

She was allegedly unhappy and embarrassed over the outcome of the procedure and complained. 

Branding irons heat up to just over 1000C.

They are used in hospitals and for scarification, and create an instant third-degree burn.

Ms Strickland, a popular and much-loved body piercer, was described as beautifully kind, caring and accepting by friends following her shock death.

‘I don’t even know what to say… You changed my life,’ wrote one friend.

‘Rest easy, and look after your beautiful girl from up there where ever you are,’ said another.

While others described their hearts as ‘shattered’ by the news. 

Ms Strickland was an advocate of the body modification industry, posting deep messages about changing her appearance to ‘recreate’ herself.

Police said they are also looking at complaints by other former customers of Russell who have come forward since he was charged.

Russell will face Gosford Local Court on May 15.

Brad Hazzard has vowed to crackdown on the body modification industry and tighten regulations. 

 ‘I have asked the Ministry of Health to expedite regulatory changes announced last week as part of the cosmetic surgery review,’ he said.

‘This so-called body modification can lead to permanent maiming.’

Russell, pictured, is on strict bail conditions and isn’t allowed to practice body modification or teach others until bail conditions are lifted

‘This so-called body modification can lead to permanent maiming,’ Brad Hazzard said. Russell pictured branding a client’s head

The mother had some kind of silicon implant placed in her hand before her death, another of Russell’s patients with an implant is pictured. There is no suggestion that Ms Strickland’s infection was caused by Russell but only that she suffered from an infection.

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