‘Dr Evil’ tattooist sentenced for removing ears and nipplesTim Dune
‘Dr Evil’ tattooist sentenced for removing ears and nipples
Brendan McCarthy is sentenced after the Court of Appeal said his clients’ written consent did not amount to a defence.
Many people who used McCarthy say the prosecution is not fair
A tattooist known as ‘Dr Evil’ has been sentenced to three years and four months after he removed ears and nipples and split the tongues of willing clients.
Brendan McCarthy, 50, was registered to carry out tattooing and piercing at Dr Evil’s Body Modification Emporium in Wolverhampton when the council was tipped off that he had removed someone’s ears.
Passing sentence at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Judge Amjad 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.”
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Brendan McCarthy has pleaded guilty last month to three counts of causing grievous bodily harm
“I’m sure Brendan believes he’s an artist”, Councillor Steve Evans told Sky News.
“However, one, he’s not qualified to carry out surgical procedures; two, his premises are in no fit and proper state to carry out surgical procedures; and three, more importantly, if something would have gone wrong Brendan could not have dealt with that emergency”.
McCarthy, from Bushbury, Wolverhampton, admitted three counts of grievous bodily harm, in what is the first case of its kind. He let out a scream as the judge sentenced him to jail and many of his supporters were in tears.
Earlier, the Court of Appeal said his customers’ written consent to the procedures did not amount to a defence.
Dr Evil customer with tongue separation. Pic: Myspace
But many of those who used his services, including King of Ink Land King Body Art The Extreme Ink-Ite, known as Body Art for short, say the prosecution is unfair.
“We all gave full consent, we were all happy, he talked us through the procedure, we knew he wasn’t a doctor despite playing on the Austin powers name of Dr Evil, he’s one of the best in the country I had multiple discussions with him about how the industry needs regulation”.
McCarthy was not qualified to carry out surgical procedures
Customer Ezechiel Lott, whose ear was removed in 2015, had been contacted by police after McCarthy pleaded guilty, the court heard.
In comments to police, Mr Lott said he “felt like he had been deceived” as he thought at the time that the procedure was legal.
Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith QC said: “He stated that had he known it was illegal, he would never have had the procedure because he certainly was not that desperate to have his ear removed.”
Defence QC Andrew Smith had urged Judge Nawaz not to jail McCarthy – who now has “no direct engagement with customers” – in the “unusual” case.
Mr Smith said: “I accept that the conduct Mr McCarthy has pleaded guilty to must cross the custodial threshold.
“But nevertheless in the exceptional circumstances of this case, the court could properly suspend any such sentence.”
The local authority told Sky News that extreme body modification is a growing trend and they are raising issues from the case with the government.
Pic: Wolverhampton City Council
Extreme body modification is a growing trend
“I absolutely agree that the law is too restrictive at the moment as it stands in disallowing body modifications” said Dr Samantha Pegg, a legal expert on body modification from Nottingham Trent University.
“I think we do need to draw a line somewhere but we need to recognise that people should be allowed to adapt their own bodies as they see fit.
Clients have given their consent to the procedures
“If body modification is moving in the same way as tattooing and piercing in the last 20- 30 years to become normalised, then we have to recognise that it’s people’s autonomy and that should be given some appreciation in the law”.
A body modification done at Dr Evil’s. Pic: Myspace
Tattooist Alex Lawson told Sky News that she had wanted her tongue split by McCarthy, but was now having to go abroad.
“He’s very well respected but legally he’s frowned upon now so no-one will offer procedures like that for their own safety and you’ve got to protect the artists doing it. We didn’t think they’re doing anything wrong but we don’t want to get them in more trouble”.
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