A disgraced surgeon has admitted to branding his initials onto the livers of two unconscious patients during transplant operations.
Simon Bramhall pleaded guilty to two counts of assault in a British case described by prosecutor Tony Badenoch as "without legal precedent in criminal law".
Badenoch added that Bramhall had abused his position, saying that his actions were "an intentional application of unlawful force to a patient while anaesthetised".
The former liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon had carried out the branding with an argon beam coagulator, a tool which emits an electric beam to seal bleeding blood vessels.
Argon beam coagulators are routinely used in liver procedures and aren't believed to be harmful, with the marks usually disappearing over time.
However in one case, the court heard, the liver was already damaged and the "SB" marks didn't heal.
When another surgeon discovered the burns, the former medical professional was suspended and resigned after a disciplinary hearing in May 2014.
Badenoch said that Bramhall's actions - which required "some skill and concentration" - had been carried out "in the presence of colleagues" and "with a disregard for the feelings of unconscious patients".
He is due to be sentenced in January.