A tattooist in Bristol who breached COVID regulations and ignored warnings must now pay more than £20k in fines and costs.
Aaron Walton, who runs the Holey Skin tattoo parlour in Gloucester Road, ignored lockdown and was found trading from his studio on 13 November 2020. A Bristol City Council EH officer then served a £1,000 fixed penalty notice and took away six pieces of equipment.
The following day, Walton reopened his studio regardless, citing a ‘Magna Carta’ defence and four people at the premises were fined £200 each by police for breaching COVID regulations.
Bristol Live reported that Walton, who did not attend court, was found guilty on Monday 9 August at Bristol Magistrates Court by presiding Justice Lynne Paraskeva.
He was fined £10k for failing to comply with a notice prohibiting opening, £2,500 for obstructing a Bristol City Council enforcement officer, £8,174.94 of the council’s prosecution costs, and £190 victim surcharge.
Nine police and several council officers attended on 13 November, with a locksmith who had to force entry.
While they were outside, Walton told them not to “blow through the hole” in case they had COVID-19. Once inside Walton told them he would bill them for the damage to the door, and that he did not consent to the fine.
Days before this, Walton told police he would be issuing £10k fines for any more visits from police or the council.
Bristol Live also reported that it contacted Public Health England about Walton, after its own investigations found he appeared to have travelled from Zante to Bristol airport in September 2020. Walton shared the same flight where two people tested positive for COVID-19 but social media posts showed he was not cooperating with NHS test and trace, and continued to go into his shop.
Bristol City Council declined to comment.