TORONTO - A woman who injected industrial silicone oil into customers' buttocks had no regard for their safety and preyed on her victims for financial gain, a Toronto judge found Thursday as she sentenced Marilyn Reid to eight years in prison.
The sentence means that, with credit for time already spent in custody, the 50-year-old Newmarket, Ont., woman has five years and three months left to serve.
"Ms. Reid has wounded, maimed, disfigured and endangered the lives of the victims," said Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly. "The offences appear to have been motivated by greed."
Reid cradled her head in her hands and looked down at the floor of the prisoner's box as her sentence was delivered.
She had pleaded guilty to eight counts of aggravated assault in January. A ninth victim came forward after her legal case was underway.
"The victims were vulnerable," Kelly said. "When they asked about risks, they were lied to. When they asked about qualifications, they were lied to."
Court heard that Reid used syringes attached to a caulking gun to inject silicone into women's buttocks between April 2011 and August 2012.
All but one victim suffered serious health consequences — four almost fatal. Some had to undergo repeated medical procedures and long periods in hospital.
"Ms. Reid was neither authorized to perform cosmetic surgery nor was she permitted to give injections. However, she did both," Kelly said. "When advised of the complications experienced by some victims, Ms. Reid appeared dismissive, insensitive and uncaring."
Reid had created a website which said she enhanced buttocks through the injecting of a substance called PMMA, which is not approved by Health Canada for cosmetic surgery, although there is a black market for the substance, Kelly recounted.
It was a cash-only business, court heard, with Reid arranging to meet with her customers at their homes or in a hotel room — all unsterile locations.
But Reid's victims didn't even get the PMMA they thought they were paying for, court heard.
"Ms. Reid injected silicone into the buttocks of the victims: a product not authorized for such purpose and used unbeknownst to the victims," Kelly said.
"This is particularly significant because when the victims sought medical assistance, they could not assist the caregivers in identifying what had, in fact, been injected."
A number of Reid's victims were initially misdiagnosed, Kelly said, and all of them will have to constantly monitor their health because a fever could be a sign that their bodies are rejecting the injected material.
Kelly noting that in at least one case, the silicone used by Reid was from the 1990s.
Reid also told a number of her victims there were "no detrimental effects" associated with the procedures and claimed she had had the injections herself, court heard.
In one case, Reid used "crazy glue and a band aid" to cover an incision in one woman's buttocks to prevent the injected solution from leaking out, court heard. That victim continues to have leakage from her injection sites, court heard.
In delivering her sentence, Kelly noted that there was no sentencing precedent for Reid's case as no similar offence had come before the courts.
Crown prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 10 to 12 years, while Reid's defence lawyer asked for a sentence of about two and a half years — roughly equal to the time Reid had spent in custody.
Reid's lawyer said his client was sorry for her actions.
"She's remorseful and she was from day one," said Calvin Barry.
Meanwhile, a Toronto detective heavily involved with the case said Reid's victims would be relieved the case had come to a conclusion.
"I'm very happy with the way things have turned out and that it's finally over because my victims can now move forward," said Louise Farrugia, who added that the case should serve as a caution for anyone considering illegal cosmetic procedures.
Kelly said Reid, a permanent resident with British citizenship, could face deportation after she serves her sentence.