An unlicensed tattooist has been jailed for 16 weeks after pleading guilty to running an illegal tattoo parlour putting customers at risk of life threatening infections.
Appearing at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 25 November 2015, Vladislav Laputs (25) pleaded guilty to six offences of failing to ensure his customers were protected from risk under health and safety law.
This is the first case in Peterborough of an illegal tattooist being jailed for committing such offences.
The court heard how Laputs set up the business in his home in St Martins Street, Millfield, Peterborough, and despite warnings has not registered with the Peterborough City Council.
To operate a tattooing business legally both the premises and person must be registered with the city council. During the process officers check the facilities and practices to ensure the safety of clients.
Despite warning, Laputs kept operating, resulting in the city council seeking a search warrant and subsequently raiding the illegal business in March and June and August finding evidence of Laputs providing tattoos.
The court heard how Laputs did not have adequate infection control procedures in place putting his clients at risk of infection.
Poor conditions, like those found at the premises, can lead to poor tattoos, permanent scarring, and more seriously life threatening infections like hepatitis and HIV which can be transmitted by needles.
Laputs was handed a 16 week prison sentence and ordered to pay court costs totalling £260.
Liz Adamson, environmental health and safety officer at the city council, said: “This case sends out a clear message to anyone thinking of operating illegally.
“Unregistered tattooists who have not been licensed or inspected by the local authority may have poor cleaning standards and poor infection controls.
“Peterborough City Council will not tolerate unsafe practices that present dangerous risks to our residents. We will use all methods available to us to stop this kind of behaviour.
“Unscrupulous tattooists are able to undercut legitimate businesses because they don’t spend money on equipment such as an autoclave or steam steriliser.
“This issue is becoming more prevalent as people set up businesses from home and tattoo equipment is becoming more widely available and cheaper on the internet.”
Dr Liz Robin, director of public health at Peterborough City Council, said: "We urge people to make sure they check both the premises and tattooist is registered. Illegal tattooists can leave you with more than just a poor tattoo - low hygiene standards could also put your life at risk.
“If you think you might be at risk of an infection such as hepatitis or HIV transmitted by an illegal tattoo, you can go to a sexual health clinic (ring 0300 300 3030 Monday to Friday 9am-4pm for an appointment) or to your GP, to talk about getting a blood test.”
A list of registered tattooists can be found in the tattoo licensing section, if you have any concerns about illegal tattooists you can contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.