Dec 10 - In one of France's biggest ever trials, PIP boss Jean Claude Mas and four colleagues have been sentenced to jail for selling faulty breast implants. The ensuing health scare affected an estimated 300,000 women. David Pollard reports.
A four-year sentence for this man and shorter jail terms for four others. PIP boss Jean Claude Mas and colleagues supplied defective breast implants with below-grade silicone. Causing a health scare that hit an estimated 300,000 women. Isabelle Traeger was a victim. Her implants split when she was on holiday in South Africa. SOUNDBITE (French) ISABELLE TRAEGER, WOMAN WHO RECEIVED PIP BREAST IMPLANT, SAYING: "Four years for all those women and everything they've been through? If you commit a robbery and steal some money and get caught, you wouldn't get four years - you'd get a lot more." The trial was one of the biggest France has ever seen. It had to be held in a Marseilles conference centre to accommodate 300 lawyers and 7,000 plaintiffs. At the heart of the prosecution: that silicone gel in the implants was of industrial rather than medical quality. In 2011, French authorities recommended women have them removed due to a high rupture rate - sparking a worldwide panic. Another victim, Jan Spivey, says it's time for the UK to sit up and take note. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RECIPIENT OF FAULTY IMPLANTS JAN SPIVEY SAYING: "We've got the largest population of victims, globally, with 47,000 women who have been affected, and it's not even recognized as a crime in the UK. So we are hoping that it will send a very strong signal to the health and safety regulations in Britain, to address the issues that they are facing so many women and their families." Mas headed a company that was once one of the largest global suppliers of breast implants. He was also fined 75,000 euros. His lawyers say he will appeal.