Tattoo artist fined after Facebook photos revealed illegal business based in her garage in Deeping St James

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A woman caught running an illegal tattoo business from her home when she posted pictures on Facebook faces a £2,000 bill.

South Kesteven District Council prosecuted Heidi Blades, of Knight Close, Deeping St James, after seeing photos of her work on the social networking site.

Blades did not attend the hearing at Spalding magistrates court today (Wednesday) but was found guilty in her absence of failing to register a person and a premises under the Local Government Act.

Magistrates fined her £500 and ordered her to pay £1,456 in costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

The district council’s lawyer Shelley Hardy told magistrates that Blades had applied for permission to operate a tattoo business from her home twice but both applications were unsuccessful.

Blades withdrew one application herself after admitting she could not meet the required standards. The district council said the garage, which she was using as a studio, did not meet requirements.

The council later discovered that Blades had set up an open page on Facebook called Deeping Ink, where she had posted pictures of her work between October last year and April, as well as pictures of her studio where equipment was visible.

Blades was visited by district council officers on several occasions, where she was warned she was operating in an unsuitable environment which placed people’s health at risk

District council head of environmental services Mike Butler said: “This prosecution sends out a message that we will not tolerate business owners who operate in this manner and place members of the public’s health at risk, including infections such as HIV and hepatitis.

“If you wish to have a tattoo please visit a registered tattoo artist in the district who must display their registration certificates on the premises.”

The council said Blades is now operating legally from a shop in Market Deeping.