The face surgeon ‘who played God’

A LEEDS-based plastic surgeon is being sued by a high-flying businesswoman who claims he decided to “play God” with her life.

Penny Johnson, 49, claims that Le Roux Fourie carried out experimental surgery during a facelift in August 2003 which caused nerve damage to the right side of her face and led to her financial and IT consultancy business going into administration.

She wants Mr Justice Owen to award her a proportion of the £54 million which she says was her potential loss, as a 50% shareholder, when Bishop Cavanagh Ltd failed in 2009.

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Mrs Johnson, of Godstone, Surrey, broke down when she told the judge at London’s High Court that the stress of the litigation had made her condition worse.

“My face is constantly contracting, I don’t sleep and I have a permanent buzzing around my eye which can be so intense that I can’t think about anything.”

Watched by her husband, Peter, she added: “I don’t want to do anything any more. My husband has a separate life with my son which I’m not included in. I can’t be a wife any more.”

Mrs Johnson said that after the surgery, she was in the business “but not in the way I should have been”.

“I did see certain things happening but I didn’t do anything about them because I didn’t want the responsibility or confrontation.”

She said that she had heard of another woman who had her life devastated by surgery with Mr Fourie in 1999.

Mr Fourie admits liability but disputes the value of the claim - putting her potential business loss at £9 million.