Tattooist fined after he slapped girl’s bottom four times in front of her own mother

A tattooist who pulled a teenage girl across his lap and smacked her bottom four times in front of her startled mother has been fined £500.

A court heard yesterday (Friday) it was Andrew Booth’s idea of lightening the atmosphere in his studio, but a judge said it was totally inappropriate behaviour.

The 17 year old girl had been left shocked and embarrassed.

The incident happened on Saturday January 6 this year when the teenager and her mum walked into 47-year-old Booth’s tattoo studio in Watford.

Judge Michael Kay QC, hearing the case at St Albans Crown Court , was told as the girl discussed with Booth what she wanted, he had slapped her on the leg, thinking he was being amusing.

But after discovering the teenager was still 17 he told her she couldn’t have a tattoo until she was 18.

Prosecutor Laura Blackband said the teenager “rolled her eyes” at her mum and it was then that Booth pulled her towards him.

The court was told the girl jokingly remarked “Do you want me to sit on your lap?”. Booth then pulled her across his lap and smacked her bottom four times.

The youngster said it hurt and was embarrassed and her mother could only “look on in disbelief” said the prosecutor.

Judge Kay was told there wasn’t any sexual element to what happened that day and Booth had mistakenly thought he was being funny.

The court was told Booth had “grossly misjudged” the situation that day and what had happened had been a wake up call for him

He had run his business for more than 30 years and there had never been any complaints about his behaviour.

Booth of Pickets Close, Bushey, pleaded guilty to an offence of assault by beating.

Judge Kay was told he now wished to apologise to the girl and accepted his behaviour was inappropriate.

Passing sentence, the judge told Booth he seemed to think it was funny to lighten the atmosphere in his studio by using profanities and behaving inappropriately.

The judge fined him £500 and said: “You pulled her across your lap next to her mother and slapped her four times. She said she felt embarrassed and it hurt.”

The judge went on: “It was extraordinary behaviour. It’s not funny, totally inappropriate and frankly it’s disgusting. You must understand you can’t do it.”

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