Girl, 13, scarred for life by illegal tattoo artist

File picture of a tattooist at work
File picture of a tattooist at work
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THE parents of a schoolgirl who was illegally tattooed with ‘belleve’ on her neck have spoken of their disgust at the unlicensed artist who did it.

The 13-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – replied to a Facebook advert by Jackson Rowsell offering tattoos for £20 a go.

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illegal tattooist Jackson Rowsell rep eb''Jackson Rowsell - tattoo man eYDX_8RM-nMsK169l0a8

But when the youngster arrived at the 19-year-old’s home in St Faith’s Road, Landport, she became scared.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Rowsell asked if she was over 18 and when she told him she was not, he went ahead and did the tattoo anyway.

Rowsell, pictured, cleaned her neck with Jack Daniels whisky and instead of tattooing the word ‘believe’ he misspelt it ‘belleve’.

Afterwards the victim had to go through the ordeal of having HIV and hepatitis tests.

Jackson admitted assault, illegally tattooing a person under 18, running a tattoo business without a licence and running a business at his home without a licence.

The girl’s distraught mother said: ‘Our entire family has been devastated by this.

‘My initial reaction was one of utter disbelief. Her sister took one look at it and stormed off. Her dad just wanted to kill him.

‘It’s not spelled right, it’s smudged, it’s absolutely awful.

‘The whole family has been affected by this. There are the health issues. She had to wait for test results for HIV and hepatitis.

‘Children make mistakes. Adults are supposed to take responsibility. He took our power away completely and now our daughter is scarred for life for £20.

‘What he has done is absolutely disgusting. It caused mayhem in our home.’

Speaking to The News, the schoolgirl said she is petrified of having laser surgery to remove the tattoo and now wears her hair down all the time to cover it.

Councillor Robert New, responsible for environment and community safety at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘This is a great result for our environmental health team, who work hard to protect the public from dodgy tattooists.

‘It is also a warning to the public to always use a proper tattoo artist who obeys the law on age limits and follows good hygiene practices.

‘Always ask to see a tattooist’s certificate of registration with Portsmouth City Council.’

Rowsell had previously written on Facebook: ‘Who wants a tattoo, come on people will give you fantastic offers you will find hard to refuse!’

He was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He must carry out 120 hours of community work and pay £300 compensation, £100 court costs and £100 victim surcharge.