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Court Order Puts a Halt to Illegal Tattooist

By Published June 05, 2018

AN illegal Middlesbrough tattooist has been stopped from trading to protect public health.

The move by Middlesbrough Council followed complaints from members of the public about Tony Learmount’s hygiene standards when carrying out work at addresses in Rainsford Crescent and Park Lane. 

When Environmental Health Officers investigated, they found that Learmount presented a risk of significant harm to human health.

Teesside Magistrates last month granted an order preventing the 30-year-old from trading as a tattooist with immediate effect. 

To protect members of the public, the Order required not only the immediate cessation of tattooing but also the seizure and destruction of all tattooing equipment. The Council executed the Order on May 17, 2018.  

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “We work with our tattooist businesses to ensure compliance with safety standards because a lack of understanding of good hygiene practices and inadequate premises and equipment poses a serious risk to their clients.

“Many people assume the tattooists they are visiting are legal, registered and meet the expected standards.

“The role of the Council is to ensure standards are met and, also protect the public by dealing with those tattooists who put people’s health at risk.

“Tattooing involves puncturing the skin with a needle.  With this comes the risk of serious, possible life threating blood-borne infections, such as HIV and Hepatitis.

“As well as the health risk, unregistered tattooists are also damaging the trade of legitimate tattooists who work hard to operate legally to the highest possible health and hygiene standards."

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “I hope this sends a clear message to anyone who thinks they can operate such a business outside the law. We will take action to protect the people of Middlesbrough.

“By the very nature of unregulated traders, illegal tattooists often provide a poor quality service but even more importantly there are the health risks which may not be immediately obvious but they can be far more devastating for the person concerned.

“They include a greater risk of contracting infections and serious health problems such as septic skin infections, blood poisoning, hepatitis and HIV.

“This is why we recommend that anyone considering getting a tattoo should go to a registered artist and premises who understand the need for strict infection controls and safety standards.”

A full list of registered tattooists and premises is available on the Middlesbrough Council’s website at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk

Anyone who has had a tattoo carried out by Mr Learmount and who has any concerns is advised to contact their GP.

Anyone with information about an unregistered tattooist should report it to Environmental Health on 01642 728272 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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