TORONTO – A woman who injected industrial silicone oil into the buttocks of women as an illegal cosmetic procedure preyed on the vulnerable for profit and deserves a stiff prison term, the prosecution said Friday.
In calling for a 10-to-12 year sentence, Crown lawyer Allison MacPherson described Marilyn Reid as a predator who was in the “business of poisoning people.”
“She preyed on the lambs like a wolf — this was a money making operation and she made a lot of money,” MacPherson said.
“She wounded them, she maimed them, she endangered their lives and she continues to endanger their lives.”
Reid, 50, of Newmarket, Ont., pleaded guilty to eight counts of aggravated assault last month.
Reid used syringes attached to a caulking gun to inject silicone that dated in at least one case from the 1990s into women’s buttocks in unsterile hotel rooms or at their homes between April 2011 and May 2012. She promised one woman a “nice plump butt.”
All but one victim suffered serious health consequences — four almost fatal. Some had to undergo repeated medical procedures and long periods in hospital in a case that initially had doctors stymied.
“She assured them that everything was going to be OK, (that) she knew what she was doing,” MacPherson said. “She was harming people to make money.”
Defence lawyer Calvin Barry called for a sentence of about 2 1/2 years — roughly equal to the time she has already spent in custody.
In his submissions, Barry played up the fact that Reid had no prior record and that her guilty plea obviated the need for an expensive trial that would have retraumatized the victims.
Reid, who came to Canada from the U.K. in 2008 and will face deportation, had led a troubled life and was in an abusive relationship, Barry said. The money she made was going to the abusive partner and the victims must bear some responsibility for what happened, he said.
At the same time, he noted she had done a three-year nursing program in U.K. and had worked in reputable clinics abroad.
“In her mind, she wasn’t going to hurt anyone. She wanted to make people happy,” Barry said.
“Time served is more than adequate. She’s broken. Her life is ruined.”
Reid briefly addressed the court to apologize, saying she didn’t realize the consequences of what she was doing.
“I never meant to harm anyone,” she said. “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”
Barry called the case unique, saying he had difficulty finding anything similar in Canadian case law, but called the punishment the Crown wanted excessive.
Both prosecution and defence agreed Reid’s time served behind bars — at a rate of 1.5 times — should be deducted from her ultimate sentence.
Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly said she would pass sentence March 26.
Toronto police Sgt. Louise Farrugia said the case should serve as a caution. She also said there may be other victims, and urged them to contact police.