A TATTOO artist has urged people not to consider having a tattoo done by anyone other than a professional.
Bob Hansler, owner of Havant Ink, in West Street, sounded his warning after Jackson Rowsell, 19, pleaded guilty to assaulting a 13-year-old girl he illegally tattooed with the word ‘believe’.
Her parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, spoke of their horror when they saw the smudged tattoo on her neck, which Rowsell did for £20.
Mr Hansler said: ‘The vast majority of shops are very tight on ID.
‘This is a cowboy who was working at home – known as a scratcher.
‘He has given it a go and messed up big time on a young girl.
‘This has been going on for years and I see one or two young people a week who come to me for corrections but I can’t touch them as they’re under age.
‘It’s a big problem and it gives all the responsible tattoo artists a bad name.
‘It’s vital that anyone thinking of a tattoo goes to a registered tattoo shop.
‘They won’t go ahead without ID. Everything here is sterilised and we have the most up to date technology.’
Rowsell, of St Faith’s Road, Landport, also admitted illegally tattooing a person under 18, running a tattoo business without a licence and running a business at his home without a licence.
He was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and must carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, pay £300 compensation, £100 court costs and £100 victim surcharge.