AN illegal tattooist caught operating in unhygienic conditions in his home is more than £1,000 out of pocket after a trial took place in his absence.
Stephen Vickers, 35, of Dorman Road, Preston, failed to attend Preston Magistrates’ Court where he was found guilty of operating as an illegal tattooist from his home.
It is understood the case arose when a complaint was made to Preston Council by a member of public.
Prosecuting, Jorge Carrera said it was discovered he had been carrying out tattooing in unhygienic conditions in the kitchen.
Investigating officers removed equipment which included tattooing machines, a box of needles, bottles of tattooing inks and a sharps box filled with used needles.
They also found that some of the tattooing equipment Mr Vickers was using was not being effectively sterilized, meaning customers were potentially at risk of being infected or contaminated with diseases such as hepatitis or HIV.
The bench convicted him of two offences under the local government laws of failing to register himself as a tattooist with the council and for failing to register the premises where his tattooing business was operating.
Vickers now faces a bill for £1,640 – a £660 fine for each offence, a £66 victim surcharge and £330 prosecution costs.
It marks the second such prosecution this year after Vanessa FilipaVitorino, 26, of Dundonald Street, Callon, Preston, was ordered to pay a total of £814 after she was found guilty of operating as an illegal tattooist from her home in March.
Chief Environmental Health Officer, Craig Sharp, said: “These illegal scratchers pose a real danger to the public’s health. They can use unsterilized equipment that seriously increases the risk of spreading diseases such as hepatitis or HIV, as well as the potential to cause permanent ugly scarring.
“If that wasn’t bad enough, the equipment they use is often
substandard and bought cheaply off the internet. The inks used are often substandard and out of date.
“People also tell us that the quality of the tattoo they had done was so poor that they had to spend time and money getting it corrected.
“These unregistered tattooists are often willing to illegally tattoo children and can cause damage that lasts a lifetime, knowing that children will be unlikely to report them to us or the police.”
Anyone with information about other illegal tattooists in their community can contact the Environmental Health Department at email@example.com or call 01772 906907.