Ex-inmate with facial tattoo accepts offer of free removal

Mark Cropp has his nickname, 'DEVAST8', covering the lower half of his face.
Mark Cropp has his nickname, 'DEVAST8', covering the lower half of his face. Photo credit: Facebook

An ex-inmate struggling to find work because of a confronting facial tattoo has accepted an Auckland laser tattoo removal business' offer of free service.

Teenager Mark Cropp has the word 'DEVAST8', his nickname, covering the lower half of his face. Cropp told NZME he got the tattoo done when he was drunk on homebrew in prison a few months ago.

Cropp, now 19, was jailed for two years for armed robbery, after pulling a knife on a tourist after trying to sell him fake cannabis.

Since his release he's struggled to find work to support his family.

"Im keen as to work but have one thing that is stoping me and thats my tattoo on my face,[sic]" he said on Facebook.

Since going public with his story he's received multiple job offers and an offer from Sacred Laser in Auckland to remove his facial tattoo for free.

"We'd be happy to treat you Mark if you decide you'd like to remove your tattoo. No charge," the company said.

The newly-accepted offer is drawing mixed reaction, with some saying he should have thought about his actions and impact on employment before getting the tattoo. However, others are jumping to his defence, saying a book shouldn't be judged by its cover.

Cropp has already turned down free removal offers from the Corrections Department twice.

Sacred Laser says it has seen "first hand" the "sort of damage their archaic and barbaric equipment can do".

"I have treated several people who have been lasered in jail and they have been utterly traumatised by their experiences. I am assuming this too is Marks only knowledge of tattoo removal and I am not surprised he turned down their offers."

Sacred Laser says if Mark agrees, the business will share his progress on social media.

Newshub.