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Tattoo artist who cut off client's ear admits grievous bodily harm

He performed the procedure without using anaesthetic. Credit: City of Wolverhampton Council

A tattoo artist who called himself "Dr Evil" has admitted causing grievous bodily harm to three customers by carrying out a tongue-splitting procedure and removing an ear and a nipple.

Brendan McCarthy, who ran Dr Evil's Body Modification Emporium in Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to three counts relating to procedures carried out at his studio between 2012 and 2015.

He had previously denied the charges, claiming consent given by his clients provided him with a lawful defence.

Tattoo artist Brendan McCarthy called himself "Dr Evil" Credit: City of Wolverhampton Council

The 50-year-old, from Bushbury, performed the ear removal at his studio in 2015 without using anaesthetic, three years after he split a woman's tongue with a scalpel and removed a third customer's nipple.

Judge Amjad Nawaz ruled that the registered tattooist could not use his clients' written permission as a defence.

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.

What the defendant undertook for reward in this case was a series of medical procedures for no medical reason.

Those seeking body modification of the sort we are concerned with in this appeal invited the appellant to perform irreversible surgery without anaesthetic with profound long-term consequences.

– The ruling
An online petition attracted 13,000 signatures. Credit: City of Wolverhampton Council

An online petition which attracted 13,000 signatures was set up in 2017 to support the "knowledgable, skilful and hygienic" body piercer.

The petition stated: "Please sign to show your support for Mac and for the right to express ourselves in whatever modified manner we wish in a safe environment.

"Because Barbie & Ken aren't everyone's idea of beautiful."

McCarthy, who was bailed with a condition that he does not undertake surgical procedures, will be sentenced on March 21.