A Middlesbrough tattooist has been hit with a hefty court fine for failing to register his business.
The case has sparked renewed calls for those looking to operate tattooing businesses to ensure they register both themselves and their premises.
Tony Learmount ran the operation from a shed at the back of his home, with clients potentially put at risk.
Teesside Magistrates heard how Learmout, of Donington Green, failed to comply with a legal requirement to register his premises to carry out cosmetic treatments.
The 35-year-old was therefore not subject to inspections by Middlesbrough Council’s Public Protection department to ensure that adequate procedures are in place to carry out the treatments.
These include checks on cleanliness, appropriate equipment being used, waste disposal arrangements and appropriate training.
Hearing the case in Learmount’s absence, Magistrates were satisfied that the premises in question was being used for carrying out tattooing for business purposes and that the premises was unregistered.
They fined him £1,000 with a £400 victim surcharge and ordered him to pay £300 towards the Council’s costs.
Councillor Janet Thompson said: “This worrying case sends out a clear message that anyone looking to operate as a tattooist must register both themselves and their premises.
“It’s also an important reminder to anyone considering getting a tattoo that they should check their tattooist is registered with their local authority.
“The vast majority of those working in this popular field are safe and law-abiding, and that’s because these protections and safeguards are in place.”
The cost of registration is £71.70 for a personal licence and a further £71.70 for a premises licence.
Details of all registered persons and premises can be found on the Middlesbrough Council website.