AN ILLEGAL tattooist who advertised his unregistered home parlour on Facebook has been fined hundreds of pounds.

Mark Chambers, 21, appeared at York Magistrates Court yesterday and was ordered to pay £820 in fines and court costs for tattooing people without proper registrations.

Chambers was caught because he ran a Facebook page called “Mark’s Tattoos” advertising for clients, claiming he was experienced and used “professional equipment” which was kept “fully sterilised and up to standards”.

Trading Standards officers, who had been tipped off about the Facebook page, tracked him down to his address in Kitchener Street and visited to give him chance to register as a tattooist.

Chambers then denied tattooing from that address, but officers used a warrant to search the house and found tattoo guns and tattooing ink.

The Facebook page showed that Chambers operated in York between February and March 2014, ran an appointment system, and in one 24-hour period carried out five tattoos.

He was fined £200 for each of his two offences – tattooing people without being registered, and tattooing from premises which were also not registered, and ordered to pay £400 contribution to costs and £20 surcharge.

The city council’s public health boss has now urged people not to take risks by going to unregistered tattooists.

Director of Health and Wellbeing Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones said: “As tattooing and body piercing become more common, improper or unsanitary methods used in these procedures can carry high health risks in the short and long-term.

“These can include infections from staphylococci and streptococci bacteria which, in rare cases, cause invasive infections that can result in severe illness, septicaemia, amputation or death and, in particular, the risk of the transmission of blood-borne viruses like hepatitis B, C and HIV.”

Council cabinet member Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing has also urged anyone who knows of an illegal tattooist to come forward.

She added: “It might be cheaper, but the quality of an unregistered tattooist’s work is likely to be poor and, even if you’re not charged for it, it is still illegal. Anyone who knows of a tattooist operating illegally, is urged to give the council as much detail as possible to help protect others.”