Woman jailed after performing illegal and fatal breast job at Sydney clinic

Woman jailed after performing illegal and fatal breast job at Sydney clinic

A Chinese national who performed illegal and fatal breast augmentation surgery will spend at least another two-and-a-half years behind bars.

Jie Shao was convicted of manslaughter earlier this year when a Sydney jury found she unlawfully injected a woman with a lethal dosage of anaesthetic.

Jean Huang, 35, died in the September 2017 procedure that involved hyaluronic acid being injected into her breasts as filler.

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Huang was taken to hospital but was ultimately declared brain dead and her life support was turned off.

Shao sat stoically throughout today’s court hearing but cried quietly when Judge Timothy Gartelmann sentenced her to six years and nine months in jail, with a three-year, six-month non-parole period.

Judge Gartelmann found the evidence presented at trial showed she did not know the appropriate amount of lidocaine to inject into a patient, nor the signs of when a person is overdosing on the local anaesthetic.

Expert toxicologists throughout the trial each found she injected Huang with around 10 times the safe amount of lidocaine when compared with her body weight.

“The offender did not calculate the safe dosage for the deceased … any reasonable person in the circumstances would have realised this is dangerous,” Judge Gartelmann said.

Shao continued injecting Huang despite her showing signs of having a seizure related with an overdose, the judge said.

The procedure, which Shao performed at the Medi Beauty Clinic at Chippendale, in inner-city Sydney, was not approved in Australia at the time.

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Shao had pleaded guilty to an alternate charge – recklessly administering a poison endangering life – which Judge Gartelmann found showed she had taken a degree of responsibility for the death.

“She did not intend to kill the deceased or cause her really serious harm, it would be a case of murder if she had,” he said.

“But she was at least reckless as to causing injury to the deceased.”

Victim impact statements presented in court revealed the heartbreak Huang’s death had brought to her husband and other family members, describing her as a person who brought joy into their lives.

In her own statement at sentencing, Shao’s barrister Winston Terracini SC quoted her saying she “blamed herself”.

“Her passing will stay with me throughout my life … I’m not familiar with Australian ways and shouldn’t have agreed,” Terracini quoted his client as saying.

Judge Gartelmann found Shao was very unlikely to reoffend and had experienced major depression and anxiety while waiting for her case to be heard.

Shao had already served a year in custody which will be counted as time served, meaning her earliest release date is in December 2026.

Her full term expires in March 2030.

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