A Carmarthen man has been ordered to pay nearly £1,800 for tattooing a minor.

Marcin Zbierzek, of College Road, was punished by Llanelli magistrates after admitting to inking the boy on his arm, contrary to the Tattooing of Minor Act, and tattooing him without being registered as a person or premises to do so.

In a prosecution led by Carmarthenshire Council, the court heard that the boy’s mother contacted the authority after her son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been tattooed by the defendant in his home after making contact with him via Facebook Messenger. The boy paid £40 for the tattoo and the picture was posted by the 35-year-old on his personal Facebook page under the album, Tattoo Men.

It is an offence to tattoo someone under the age of 18.

Council environmental health officers then visited the premises and went into the 35-year-old’s bedroom and found a quantity of tattooing equipment. The equipment seized was deemed unsuitable and used for tattooing could lead to health implications through poor sterile practices and exposure to blood borne viruses etc.

In mitigation the defendant claimed he had used disposable equipment on the minor and that the equipment seized was used to practice on himself, animal skin and fruit. He also claimed he thought his client was over 18 although he accepted that he hadn’t asked him for ID or carried out any checks.

Zbierzek was fined a total of £850 and ordered to pay £811 costs and £50 victim surcharge. A destruction order was also placed on the equipment.

All persons offering tattoos must be registered with the local authority and all premises must also be registered.  Premises are subject to inspections for hygiene standards.  Any persons with concerns regarding such matters should contact the authority on (01267) 234567.

The council’s executive board member, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “This is a disgraceful offence especially as the victim was a minor. I’d like to thank the victim’s mother for bringing this to our attention and to our officers for all their hard work in ensuring this person was stopped in his tracks and brought before the court for his actions.

“If someone wishes to run a business such as this they must abide by the law and apply to the local authority for registration full stop. We will continue to take action against anyone who works on the wrong side of the law.”

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