A MAN who charged as little as £20 to tattoo children has been fined by Doncaster magistrates.
In the first prosecution of its kind in the borough, Gregory Cooper was caught by police providing tattoos for under 18s, which is against the law.
Cooper, who is only 18, from Challenger Drive, Sprotbrough, was found guilty by the court of three offences of tattooing minors. He was fined £250, ordered to pay £300 costs, and a £15 victim surcharge.
The court was told he charged youths as little as £20 for their tattoos. An investigation was launched after a number of complaints were made by parents of tattooed minors, some as young as 13.
On March 19 police officers caught him tattooing a 15-year-old at Lunar Tattoo Studio on St Sepulchre Gate West, Doncaster.
After the hearing a parent of one of them said: “Laws are put in place to safeguard young people – who often do silly things. My daughter is already thinking about having the tattoo removed, but this is a lengthy process which could leave a scar.”
Coun Cynthia Ransome, cabinet member for communities, said: “I am glad to see that this person has been brought to justice for his completely irresponsible actions.
“Safeguarding young people in Doncaster is our paramount concern and anyone seeking to turn a profit from this type of illegal activity will face the full force of the law.
“I would urge anyone with any evidence of under-age tattooing being carried out in Doncaster to come forward and report it.”
Det Insp Alison Griffiths, from Doncaster police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “I am really pleased we have been able to stop this man from illegally tattooing under-age young people.
“The police and council will continue to work together to protect vulnerable young people in Doncaster and ensure anyone involved in any form of illegal activity is dealt with appropriately.”
Doncaster Council offers a training course covering age restricted products and how to verify a customer’s age.