Ormesby dad Ben Larry died from organ failure after unlicensed tattoo in garden shed, inquest hears

Ben Larry died on 6 May 2023 following the tattoo work in a garden shed earlier that week. Credit: Cleveland Police

A dad-of-two died from organ failure after getting a tattoo in a garden shed, an inquest has heard.

Ben Larry contracted a serious infection following the ink work in the week leading to his death on 6 May 2023.

An inquest into the 32-year-old's death at Teesside Coroner's Court heard the dad's leg became infected after receiving a tattoo.

Assistant coroner Paul Appleton concluded that Mr Larry, from Ormesby, on Teesside, died as a result of a multi-organ failure caused by an infection in his right leg.

Speaking at the inquest on Thursday (11 April), Mr Appleton said: "This infection was secondary to tattoo work that Benjamin had done to his right leg on 1 May 2023.

"That tattoo work was performed at unregistered premises."

The tattoo was carried out on Ben Larry in a garden shed. Credit: Gazette Media Company Syndication

A 35-year-old man had previously been arrested in connection with the incident but the case was dropped by Cleveland Police due to "evidential difficulties".

Despite the criminal case being dropped, Middlesbrough Council launched a civil case against tattooist Tony James Learmount.

He was found guilty of operating in a garden shed not registered to carry out tattooing at Teesside Magistrates' Court in January.

Prosecutor Thomas Durance said on 9 May 2023, public protection officers from Middlesbrough Council were contacted by Cleveland Police following the death of a man from sepsis.

Mr Durance told the court: "The infection had originally developed around the area of a new tattoo.

"Cleveland Police investigated and this led to confirmation of the tattooist being Mr Tony James Learmount, of Donington Green, Middlesbrough - the same location where the tattoo had taken place."

Tattooist Tony James Learmount was found guilty of operating in a venue not registered to carry out tattooing in January. Credit: Gazette Media Company Syndication

The council's case was proven in Learmount's absence and magistrates fined the tattooist £1,000 and ordered him to pay a £400 victim surcharge and £300 towards the council costs.

Cleveland Police previously issued a warning to the public of the dangers of unlicensed tattooists, urging people to check the Body Art register before visiting a tattoo parlour.

Following Mr Larry's death, his parents said: “Our precious, adored, kind and caring son was loved by everyone. He touched so many hearts.

"No parent should lose a child, no child should lose their daddy and no grandparent should lose a grandchild.

"Our hearts are broken, we are so lucky to have our two beautiful grandsons to keep his legacy and our memories of him alive."

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