British woman accused of illegal silicone buttock implant killing extradited to US

Lily Puckett

A British woman accused of killing an American woman by injecting her with illegal silicone implants has been extradited to the United States to stand trial.

Donna Francis, a former hairdresser from Loughton, Essex, is charged with criminally negligent homicide and unauthorised practice of a profession in the death of Kelly Mayhew, who died in 2015 after receiving a basement injection of silicone buttock implants from Ms Francis in New York.

Detectives say Ms Mayhew received the injections in a basement in Queens, New York that Ms Francis had converted into an “office”.

Ms Mayhew’s mother apparently accompanied her to the illegal procedure in May 2015, which used liquid silicone, a substance not approved for cosmetic use anywhere on the body. Ms Mayhew died after the silicone entered her bloodstream.

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Liquid silicone has been illegal for cosmetic use since the 1960s. Most surgeries for enhancement, like implants, use fat from the body instead. But illegal, fake clinics offering the injections sprang up in the last decade, causing several deaths. The deaths have caused much media speculation, especially after the performer Cardi B told GQ that she paid $800 for one of the illegal procedures before becoming a successful artist. She told the magazine that the injections were given without painkillers, and leaked for nearly a week.

Targets of those administering the dangerous procedures are usually women who cannot afford the legal, safer cosmetic surgeries that promise a fuller figure. Ms Mayhew, who worked for the TV network BET, apparently sought this treatment. It’s unclear how much she was charged for the deadly procedure.

Ms Francis has reportedly been fighting extradition. She arrived in New York on Thursday afternoon.

Her attorney, Kevin O’Donnell, told News4 that his client is “cloaked with the presumption of innocence like anyone else charged with a crime".

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