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Castration group ringleader received £18k in benefits after having leg amputated

Marius Gustavson claimed benefits after having his leg frozen and amputated, a court heard
Marius Gustavson claimed benefits after having his leg frozen and amputated, a court heard

The ringleader of an extreme body modification group received £18,000 in benefits after having his leg frozen and amputated, a court heard.

Jacob Crimi-Appleby, 23, from Epsom in Surrey, admitted to freezing Marius Gustavson’s leg with dry ice in Feb 2019, forcing it to be amputated at a hospital.

Gustavson from Haringey, north London, then successfully claimed disability benefits of £18,000 for the loss of limb, the Old Bailey was told on Monday.

A “disturbing” video of Crimi-Appleby filling up a bucket of dry ice with Guvstavson’s leg inside was played to the court.

Crimi-Appleby, who was 18 at the time, was jailed for three years and eight months.

Jacob Crimi-Appleby was jailed for three years and eight months for freezing off the leg, which was then amputated
Jacob Crimi-Appleby was jailed for three years and eight months for freezing off the leg, which was then amputated - METROPOLITAN POLICE/PA

The court previously heard Gustavson, 46, had been involved in numerous extreme procedures, including filming the removal of male genitalia. The practice is linked to a subculture where men become “nullos”, short for genital nullification, by having their penis and testicles removed.

Damien Byrnes, a 36-year-old Irish male escort, was also jailed after admitting to cutting off Gustavson’s penis with a kitchen knife on video at his home on Feb 18 2017.

Byrnes then asked for a copy of the film and was heard saying: “Well that’s one off the bucket list. I never expected that one.”

Byrnes, from Tottenham, north London, was jailed for five years.

Nathan Arnold, a 48-year-old former nurse from South Kensington, west London, admitted cutting off Gustavson’s nipple with a scalpel in the summer of 2019.

He also admitted to stealing anaesthetic between 2016 and 2022 from the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital where he had worked and possessing 72 extreme pornographic images which were described by the judge as “graphic and appalling”.

He was handed two years in custody suspended for two years, 100 hours of unpaid work, 60 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and an alcohol treatment requirement.

Scotland Yard Det Insp Amanda Greig said the offenders were part of a wider network of men involved with “illegal backstreet operations”.

‘Disgusting and abhorrent’

Judge Mark Lucraft KC, in sentencing, said: “To many of those looking at this case the activity will appear at the very least to be disgusting and abhorrent.”

He said Gustavson played a “pivotal role” in the offences committed for sexual and financial reasons and posted on his pay-per-view “eunuch maker” website.

He told the defendants: “The three of you engaged in what are extremely serious body modification procedures for various motives: a clear element of sexual gratification alongside financial reasons.

“What is clear is that there was no medical justification for anything any of you did. The removal of the penis and the leg such that it required amputation are not only irreversible and permanent but are also life-threatening.

“One of the procedures involved the use of a kitchen knife, another a scalpel and in the third, ice and then dry ice was administered over a protracted period of many hours.”

Previously, prosecutor Caroline Carberry KC said the defendants were among 10 people charged with taking part in extreme body modifications.

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