Child tattooed amid squalor

Northern Lights tattoo parlour on Topping Street, Blackpool. '4-2-2011
Northern Lights tattoo parlour on Topping Street, Blackpool. '4-2-2011
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A SEASIDE parlour illegally tattooed a 14-year-old girl amid appalling scenes of filth.

Blackpool Magistrates were told how the boss of the Northern Lights parlour knew the girl was four years below the age limit.

In a statement, the girl described the pain she felt as 56-year-old William Hanson used a needle on her.

He drew three stars on her wrist and then told her: “I’ll have to colour them in or they will look rubbish.”

The schoolgirl also had a ear piercing and belly button piercing both of which became infected the judge heard, in the first case of its kind in the UK.

Hanson, of Coleridge Road, Layton, was found guilty of tattooing a person under the age of 18 for reasons other than medical reasons.

He was also found guilty of running an unregistered tattoo parlour on Topping Street.

Victoria Cartmell, prosecuting, said council health and safety officers raided the premises following complaints.

They found:

n Filthy walls and floors.

n The treatment area was being used for eating and smoking.

n Needle bins were overflowing.

n Furniture needed repairing and was dirty.

n There was no paper cover on the treatment couch.

n The toilets were dirty and there was no hot water supply to the sink.

The judge heard the teenager had gone to the parlour with an older friend.

She asked for a tattoo and told Hanson she was just 14.

The following week she had the tattoo done and Hanson told her to cover it up with a bandage. At a family gathering relatives also told her to cover it up because her parents would be upset.

When Hanson was interviewed he said he remembered doing the tattoo on the girl but could not remember when.

The prosecutor said the state of cleanliness at the parlour was “appalling bearing mind it is an area where the clients’ skin is broken”.

Ms Cartmell added: “Cleanliness is a fundamental to this type of business and obviously can lead to piercings like this going bad.”

She told District Judge Jeff Brailsford that since the raid Hanson had carried out £10,000 worth of improvements to the parlour. The judge told the court: “It is obviously unlikely that this money would have not been spent had the council not acted against this man.”

Hanson did not attend the hearing and will be sentenced at a later date.