Rockhampton Court House.
Rockhampton Court House.

‘DISGUSTING’: Home tattooist faces 22 charges

“CAN you wait?”, an older Rockhampton man asked police, wanting to finish tattooing a 15-year-old boy on his bed.

Malcolm William Strahan faced Rockhampton Magistrates Court last Friday and pleaded guilty to 22 charges.

The charges ranged from eight counts of possessing dangerous drugs, four counts relating to tattooing a minor unlicensed from an unlicensed tattooing business, possessing drug related utensils, stealing, failing to appear in court and breaching bail conditions.

The offending took place between May 10 to September 19, with the drug related offending occurring between May 10 to August 29.

Magistrate Jeff Clarke summarised the schedule of facts, stating Strahan was using drugs on a regular basis.

Mr Clarke said police were encountering Strahan at various drug houses in Rockhampton, and on each occasion his drugs, including cannabis and methamphetamine, and ­related utensils were on display.

On May 10, Strahan was caught tattooing a minor on his bed. He asked police to wait until he finished tattooing the 15-year-old’s chest.

Mr Clarke said Strahan was not a licenced tattooist and had a full makeshift tattoo studio set up, which he was receiving money from.

Police prosecutor Shayne Studdert said Strahan had a three-page criminal history, containing 11 drug charges.

Mr Studdert said Strahan was also subject to a suspended sentence, which he received on January 30 for drug offending. He submitted for the suspended sentence to be activated.

Legal Aid lawyer Megan Jones did not object to Mr Clarke activating the suspended sentence and submitted Strahan be released on immediate parole.

“The suspended sentence was not enough of a deterrent for him,” Ms Jones said.

“He needs assistance that can be offered through parole.”

Ms Jones said his focus was to go and care for his elderly mother who was in Brisbane suffering from cancer.

“She is close to passing and has asked him to go down and care for her in her final moments,” she said.

“That will also assist him in getting out of the Rockhampton drug scene and all the connections he has here.”

She said Strahan started using methamphetamine around Christmas last year due to stress with his partners ill health. He was her carer for more than four years, and when her health started to decline, he turned to drugs.

Ms Jones said cannabis had always been an issue. She said he wanted to go back to Rockhampton Alcohol and Other Drugs Services as it had helped him in the past.

Mr Clarke told Strahan the offences showed his life had “well and truly unravelled out of control”.

He said it was “disgusting” that he tattooed a minor.

Strahan was sentenced to seven months imprisonment with immediate parole and ordered to pay a $1650 fine.

Convictions were recorded.

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