A tattooist known as “Dr Evil” has been jailed for 40 months for carrying out ear and nipple removals at the request of two of his customers.
Brendan McCarthy, who also carried out a tongue-splitting procedure at his studio in Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty last month to three counts of causing grievous bodily harm.
The 50-year-old, from Bushbury, Wolverhampton, appeared at the city’s Crown Court on Thursday afternoon and was sentenced by Judge Amjad Nawaz.
Passing sentence, Judge Nawaz said the body-modification industry was unregulated and McCarthy was only registered as a tattooist and cosmetic piercer.
The judge said of McCarthy: “He had no qualifications to carry out surgical procedures or to deal with any adverse consequences which could have arisen.
“There is a clear public interest element. There is also a need for deterrent.”
Several friends of McCarthy cried and comforted each other as he was taken from the dock. After he had disappeared from view, McCarthy could be heard repeatedly howling in apparent distress.
McCarthy, who ran Dr Evil’s Body Modification Emporium in Princess Alley, admitted the charges after the Court of Appeal said his customers’ written consent to the procedures did not amount to a defence.
Earlier court hearings were told the ear removal was performed in 2015 without anaesthetic, three years after McCarthy split a woman’s tongue with a scalpel.
McCarthy first appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court in 2017, when he initially denied six counts relating to the three procedures.
An online petition which attracted 13,000 signatures was set up to support the “knowledgable, skilful and hygienic” body-piercer, who was refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Following a failed bid to convince a crown court judge that consent was a lawful defence, McCarthy took his case to the Court of Appeal, contending that the procedures should be regarded as lawful to protect the “personal autonomy” of his customers.
But three Court of Appeal judges, who noted that McCarthy had divided a customer’s tongue “to produce an effect similar to that enjoyed by reptiles”, said the procedures were not comparable to tattoos and piercings.
Although they accepted evidence that the ear removal had been “done quite well” the judges said it was not in the public interest that a person could wound another for no good reason.
In a statement issued after McCarthy pleaded guilty, Wolverhampton City Council said public protection officers had served a notice preventing him from carrying out “extreme” services.