Castration group ringleader made £300,000 from uploading footage online

Marius Gustavson willingly had his leg frozen and amputated
Marius Gustavson willingly had his leg frozen and amputated - Facebook

The ringleader of a mutilations cult was an “arch-manipulator” of vulnerable victims who made nearly £300,000 from uploading footage online to a paying audience, a court has heard.

Marius Gustavson, a Norwegian national living in Haringey, north London, performed castrations for his “Eunuch Maker” website, which had more than 20,000 members across the world.

The 46-year-old is now wheelchair-bound after willingly having his leg frozen and amputated. He has also had his penis and nipple removed. A court has previously heard that he received £18,000 in benefits after having his leg removed.

He appeared via video-link from HMP Wandsworth for a sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey on Thursday along with six co-defendants.

Prosecutor Caroline Carberry, KC, told the court that the name of the Eunuch Maker website was a “swaggering reference to how Gustavson and those involved viewed themselves”.

She said that none of the defendants had medical qualifications and that the harm caused was “without precedent”.

“All of these defendants were active in the extreme body modification or mutilation scene and the consensual removal or mutilation of male genitalia.

“On [his website] he advertised extreme body modification services such as castration and penis removal.

“It was through that website that men found Gustavson and his band of fellow unqualified surgeons.”

She added: “It is a remarkable feature of this case that that website operated in plain sight, not on the dark web, accessible to anyone who stumbled upon it and had the inclination and means to pay to view the gruesome footage.

“The first subscriber was registered on Jan 14 2017 and the last on March 18 2021, which was the day before the police seized his devices.

“By that date, Gustvason had amassed a staggering 22,841 registered users from across the globe.

“Customers paid to view footage of individual procedures or took out long-term subscriptions using the Strike payment platform.”

Screenshots of the website presented to the court show users were offered a VIP yearly subscription of £100 along with free unlimited messaging.

The castrations were often carried out using agricultural tools normally reserved for livestock.

Many of the procedures were performed in the basement of his flat or at rented apartments and hotels.

The victims were often promised a sum of money from the revenue generated by the website, the court heard.

Ms Carberry told the court: “Mr Gustavson recruited like-minded individuals to assist him in his large-scale, dangerous and disturbing enterprise and among those are his six co-defendants.

“Marius Gustavson is the principal offender, organiser and ringleader.

“He was, as is clear from the many thousands of text messages recovered, an arch-manipulator of victims, all of whom consented to the procedures, but who themselves were vulnerable to exploitation by him.”

He is facing jail after admitting conspiring to commit grievous bodily harm (GBH), five counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, possessing criminal property, namely money, and making and distributing two indecent videos of a child between January 2017 and January 2020.

The other defendants are Peter Wates, 67, Romanian Ion Ciucur, 30, and 61-year-old German Stefan Scharf.

David Carruthers was involved in four testicle removals
David Carruthers was involved in four testicle removals - Paul Grover

Also facing jail are former surgical assistant David Carruthers, 61, his partner Ashley Williams, 32, and Janus Atkin, 39, all from Newport, South Wales.

Carruthers was involved in six procedures, including four testicle removals, but Ms Carberry said it was impossible to know how many procedures were carried out in total.

He worked for Ceredigion and Mid Wales NHS Trust from 1991 to 2002 as a domestic assistant but has no medical qualifications.

Janus Atkin was involved in eight procedures and had his penis removed by members of the group
Janus Atkin was involved in eight procedures and had his penis removed by members of the group - paul grover

Atkin had studied veterinary medicine at Bristol and Liverpool University and was involved in eight procedures, including a penis removal.

Wates, of Purley, Surrey is a retired pharmacist and a former member of the Royal Society of Chemists. He was involved in nine procedures and was found to have bought five scalpels and a suturing kit online.

Ciucur, who works in a hotel in Gretna Green, Scotland, was involved in two procedures, including a testicle clamping.

Ashley Williams helped remove a testicle from a friend
Ashley Williams helped remove a testicle from a friend - Paul Grover/Paul Grover

Williams helped his partner, Carruthers, to remove their friend Atkin’s testicle, the hearing was told.

The couple both worked at the passport office in Wales.

The charges relate to 13 victims who are being safeguarded by specialist detectives.

The wide-ranging conspiracy also involved the trade in body parts, the court was told.

Nathaniel Arnold was given a suspended sentence last year
Nathaniel Arnold was given a suspended sentence last year - Paul Grover

Former nurse Nathaniel Arnold, 49, Jacob Crimi-Appleby, 23, and male sex worker Damien Byrnes, 36, all admitted removing body parts from Gustavson and were jailed last year.

Crimi-Appleby, who had a sexual relationship with Gustavson after meeting him aged 17, froze Gustavson’s leg, causing it to require amputation. Byrnes removed his penis with a vegetable knife while Arnold partially removed his nipple with a scalpel.

Byrnes was jailed for five years, Crimi-Appleby for three years and eight months while Arnold was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Wates admits conspiracy to cause GBH. Ciucur admits conspiracy to cause GBH with intent in relation to two modifications.

Williams admits causing GBH with intent to Atkin on Nov 7 2017.

Carruthers and Atkin admit conspiracy to commit bodily harm.

Scharf admits causing GBH with intent by taking part in a single procedure by removing a testicle in an apartment in Camden, north London, in July 2019.

The hearing is set to conclude on Friday.