74 year old Jean-Claude Mas, the man who introduced thousands of women to PIP breast implants has been found guilty of fraud.
The French company Poly Implant Prothese, better known as PIP has been at the centre of one of the biggest trials France has ever seen.
Along with Jean-Claude Mas, four other executives were given lesser sentences for their roles in the scandal.
Over 7,000 women had filed complaints against the French firm, and the verdict was met with cheers throughout the courtroom from approximately 50 women who attended the trial. The 74 year old pensioner has declared he is insolvent but despite this claim he has been ordered to pay roughly £11,000 compensation to over 4,000 women affected by the faulty implants. As the company has declared bankruptcy the French fraudster has managed to escape paying out the compensation from his company. It is thought that around 47,000 women in the UK have PIP implants and in excess of 300,000 globally.
However, despite the ruling, Jean Claude Mas was allowed to walk free pending an appeal much to the dismay of many women who have suffered high rupture rates from the defective implants.
It was the greed of the company that led them to cut corners in terms of health and safety. PIP used non-medical silicone inside the implants, which is unfit for human use, but hid this key ingredient when gaining approval from European inspectors. This mal practice was said to have saved them over 1 million euros per year.
A German safety standards firm has recently awarded a large number of British women around £2,500 in compensation for the negligent part they played in approving the defective implants.
The French health ministry has advised all French women with the implants to have them removed, with the French government picking up the tab. It is thought that this affects around 30,000 women. Britain, along with several other countries, however, is not quite so gracious. They do not believe that the silicone used, although inappropriate, poses any threat to health and does not increase the chances of contracting breast cancer. Those women who had their surgery privately will have to sort out any issues for themselves, whilst the NHS will either remove or replace any implants performed by the health service.