A MAN has pleaded guilty to illegally operating as a mobile tattooist.
Craig Wood had been operating under the name of Woody’s Ink Community and was advertising himself as a “fully licensed mobile tattooist.”
The 33-year-old of no fixed address was indeed registered with Wigan Council as a person who can tattoo in Wigan borough and from April 2014 until February 2015 had operated legally at a registered tattooist.
But by operating a mobile tattooing service from February this year onwards he was breaking the law as he was no longer using a premises registered for tattooing. Even after being told he was acting illegally he continued to advertise the business online.
To operate a tattooing business legally both the premises and person must be registered with Wigan Council.
Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard how Wood said he had been misled and thought his personal registration allowed him to operate wherever he wanted to but magistrates told him it was his responsibility to know the laws around tattooing.
He was handed a conditional discharge and was ordered to pay court costs of £618 and a £15 victim surcharge.
The registration process has a focus on hygienic practices and the facilities. Poor conditions can lead to poor quality tattoos, permanent scarring and more seriously life-threatening infections like hepatitis and HIV.
Coun Keith Cunliffe, portfolio holder for health and adult social care, said: “This prosecution shows Wigan Council is serious about tackling the problem of illegal tattooing.
“Through our Think Before You Ink campaign we have been urging people to make sure they check a premises and tattooist is registered.
“Illegal tattooists, also known as scratchers, can leave you with more than just a poor tattoo – low hygiene standards could also put your life at risk.
“If you think someone may be running a tattooing business without being registered please let us know.”
To find a list of registered tattoo premises and for more information on how to report someone you think may be operating illegally visit www.wigan.gov.uk/Res ident/Health-Social-Care/Adults/fit-and-well/tattoo-advice.