Piercing site ‘unacceptable’

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A premises in Blackpool used by a man carrying out body piercings was totally unacceptable, a court heard.

There were bags of clinical waste left around and some bins used for needles were overflowing.

And magistrates heard James Woods carried on his business despite having his electricity cut off .

When Woods’ premises was shut down by council bosses there were such worries about the standard of his sterilisation techniques that a nationwide alert was issued by Health England to trace hundreds of people-locals and holidaymakers- who had been his customers so they could be checked for infections like HIV.

Woods, 48, denied four offences when he appeared before Blackpool magistrates.

They are the alleged failure to keep his premises clean and in good repair; failure to dispose of clinical waste;failure to store and dispose of used needles and eating and drinking in his work area.

The court heard that after Woods was served by a prohibition notice by Blackpool Council when he had no power he was evicted from the property on the town’s Springfield Road.

But he managed to get back in after starting legal proceedings and started up working once more when he shouldn’t have done said Ben Williams, prosecuting.

Woods hired a petrol driven generator and put it in a lobby area before he was once again evicted by his landlord.

Public Protection Officer Jacqueline Harrison told the hearing that the council acted when they were told Woods was trading without power in the building.

She described the parlour as unsuitable for skin piercing.

She said: “A meeting was held with Public Health England and its was decided to try and trace Woods’ customers from his appointment book,consent forms and mobile phone numbers.

“We knew we could not trace everyone – there were hundreds – so a public appeal was mounted and a special phone number set up for people to contact the authorities so they could be urged to have tests for any infection.”