A tattoo of a bikini-clad woman was never going to look the classiest of inkings. But for one teenager, her dream of a Marilyn Monroe tribute tatt was dashed when she was branded with an image of a blow-up doll rather than her idol!
Siobhan Fields, 16, from Burnback, Scotland, paid £50 for the image of Marilyn in a bikini to be inked onto her arm. Unhappy with the result, she has now reported her tattooist, Dave Stewart, to the police, as she has discovered he does not have a council licence to practice.
Siobhan - who at 16 is two years below the legal age for tattooing - described her Marilyn tattoo as a 'monstrosity'. She said:
"It's horrible. It's so embarrassing. I've had to go out and buy loads of long-sleeved shirts because I don't want anyone to see it.
"I love Marilyn Monroe. She was absolutely beautiful - but this tattoo makes her look more like a blow-up doll. Her mouth is just a black blob, the eyes are circles, her eyes are two dots. She has black hair, the eyebrows are all wrong and there are wobbly lines everywhere."
Siobhan found Dave Stewart's 'Intenze Tattoos' on Facebook, and booked a session after being impressed by the tattoo examples on his page.
"Alarm bells should have started ringing when he said he would do it round at my house," said Siobhan. "I showed him the picture of Marilyn and he seemed very confident that he could match it. I booked an appointment and during the session I didn't look at my arm because I'm not good with pain, so I was just closing my eyes and gritted my teeth.
"When it was finished, after about 90 minutes, I looked in the mirror and just felt total shock. But he was quite an intimidating guy, with tattoos all over his face so I didn't want to confront him at the time. Then I felt that I had just paid £50 for this guy to basically disfigure me for life.
"Later on I contacted him and asked if he could refund my money and at first he agreed, but then he blocked me on Facebook and cut off all contact. It's just one sorry looking mess and now I have to live with it. It's going to cost around £300 to have it covered up by a proper tattoo artist."
The Facebook page for Intenze Tattoos has now been removed, and Mr Stewart was not available for comment.
A spokesman for South Lanarkshire Council said: "Intenze Tattoos does not hold a licence within the South Lanarkshire Council area.
"The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Skin Piercing and Tattooing) Order 2006 gives Local Authorities the power to license individuals who carry out skin piercing or tattooing activities as a business.
"The Order lays out a number of requirements aimed at reducing, if not removing, risks to public health from these practices. As well as setting out criteria that operators must adhere to, the Act also prohibits the tattooing of people under the age of 18 years and restricts the activity of skin piercing on people under the age of 16 years unless accompanied by a person with parental rights.
"A person carrying out the activity of skin piercing or tattooing without a licence shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine."
A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: "We would urge anyone considering body art, including tattooing, to thoroughly check the artist's credentials. Artists operate under a local authority-granted licence which should be displayed."