The sickening group of men who made £300,000 cutting off testicles which were later served in salad

A ‘body modifications’ group chopped off body parts including penises and testicles with the self-styled ‘eunuch maker’ at the head of the group tucking into a testicle salad. During the “gruesome” enterprise the ringleader’s penis was found in a drawer – four years after it had been removed – and human testicles were discovered in the freezer of a Newport home raided in the investigation.

Marius Gustavson and his acolytes – three of whom were from Wales – carried out male castration, penis removal, and other “grisly” procedures on an unprecedented scale, the Old Bailey heard. Procedures were videoed and posted on Gustavson’s Eunuch Maker website which netted him more than £300,000 between 2017 and 2021.

On one occasion when Gustavson cooked “what appeared to be human testicles which are then plated to be eaten” and kept other body parts as “trophies”, Judge Mark Lucraft KC said. Gustavson, 46, of Haringey, north London, admitted charges including conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm. On Thursday Judge Lucraft sentenced him to life with a minimum term of 22 years. He said Gustavson had been the mastermind of the “gruesome and grisly”, “large-scale”, and “extremely dangerous” enterprise.

Six other men received jail terms of between four and a half years and 12 years for their part in the plot. Judge Lucraft said: “I am entirely satisfied that the motivation of all those involved were a mix of sexual gratification as well as financial reward.” Some of what happened was “little short of human butchery”, he said.

During a police raid on the Newport home of David Carruthers “testicles were found in a chest freezer”, prosecutor Caroline Carberry KC previously told the court. Alexander Greenwood, defending Carruthers, said the testicles found in his freezer were Carruthers’ own.

But for his connection with the “spider web” of Gustavson, Carruthers would “never have troubled these courts”, Mr Greenwood said. Carruthers was also diagnosed with body identity integrity disorder and removed his own testicles, the court heard. “He believed he was assisting those with the same condition”, his barrister said. Helping Gustavson with his body modification activities was a “terrible mistake”, Mr Greenwood added.

Extreme body modification is linked to a subculture where men become “nullos”, short for genital nullification, by having their penis and testicles removed. Previously Ms Carberry said Gustavson was linked to at least 29 procedures.

Top row from left: Peter Wates, Marius Gustavson, Janus Atkin, far right Ion Ciucur. Bottom row from left: David Carruthers, Ashley Williams, Stefan Scharf
A knife used by Damien Byrnes, 36, from Tottenham, north London, to remove the penis of Marius Gustavson, the ringleader of an extreme body modifications group

After one of them Gustavson cooked severed testicles for lunch which he ate in a salad he had prepared for himself, she said. He had taken various pictures from “raw ingredients to an artfully arranged salad platter”, Ms Carberry told the court. She added: “There is also, we say, clear evidence of cannibalism.”

The court heard Gustavson, who had two previous fraud convictions in Norway, offered to sell the severed penis of one of his victims for hundreds of pounds. According to court documents body parts were put up for auction online with a “buy it now” button.

The other defendants had admitted their part in the conspiracy relating to 13 victims, the youngest of whom was 16 years old. Ms Carberry said the defendants used a wide variety of tools such as clamps used for animal castration. Some 22,000 subscribers paid to access videos on the Eunuch Maker website with varying levels of membership from “free” to “VIP” which cost £100. Gustavson was arrested after he used a red hot iron to brand a man’s calf with the letters EM – for ‘eunuch maker’.

In a victim impact statement the man who complained to police described Gustavson as a “lunatic” who had put together a “slick, professional website”. The police investigation led to the arrest of 10 men in London, Scotland, and south Wales. During raids officers found Gustavson’s penis in a drawer in his home four years after it had been amputated.

Gustavson, a Norwegian national, also had to have his leg amputated in February 2019 after getting a man to freeze it and claimed £18,000 in disability payments up until 2021. In mitigation Rashvinderjeet Panesar said the breakdown of Gustavson’s marriage was the “trigger” for his offending. The defence barrister said: “He had a desire to be the architect of his own body. His modification led him to feelings of empowerment. It appears at face value to be something that’s become an addiction for him.”

Gustavson had pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit grievous bodily harm, five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, making and distributing an indecent photograph of a child, and possession of criminal property. The other six defendants had admitted conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm:

  • Peter Wates, 67, of Purley, Surrey, a retired former member of the Royal Society of Chemists, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

  • Janus Atkin, 38, of Newport, Gwent, who had been completing a veterinary course, was jailed for 12 years.

  • Ion Ciucur, 30, of Gretna, Scotland, received five years and eight months imprisonment, and Stefan Scharf, 61, of no fixed address, was sentenced to four and a half years in jail.

  • David Carruthers 61, and Ashley Williams, 32, of Newport, south Wales, were jailed for 11 years and four years and six months respectively.

In January three men were sentenced after admitting causing grievous bodily harm to Gustavson. Damien Byrnes, 36, from north London, was jailed for five years for removing Gustavson’s penis with a kitchen knife on video at his home on February 18, 2017.

Jacob Crimi-Appleby, 23, from Epsom in Surrey, was jailed for three years and eight months for freezing Gustavson’s leg leading to the need for it to be amputated in February 2019. Nurse Nathan Arnold, 48, from South Kensington, west London, received a two-year suspended sentence for the partial removal of Gustavson’s nipple with a scalpel in the summer of 2019.

Kate Mulholland, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Marius Gustavson ignored the risks of performing unnecessary surgery on vulnerable men for sexual gratification and financial gain. He actively recruited participants through his website and was paid to stream the footage of these barbaric procedures.

“Whilst the victims in this case all seemingly consented to surgeries and amputations the victim who bravely reported his assault to the police expressed serious regret regarding his procedure and the lasting impact it has had upon him. This clearly emphasises why such practices are unlawful.

“The severity of today’s sentence should act as a warning to others that performing extreme body modifications is against the law and the CPS won’t hesitate to prosecute these horrendous crimes.”