Killed by a tattoo

A man who was bought a tattoo by his girlfriend as a birthday present died days after it became infected.

John Chillingworth, 35, complained that the six inch image of a wizard was “stinging a bit” within hours of having it etched on his right calf.

The pain spread up his leg before the skin around the £80 tattoo became red and puffy two days later, an inquest heard.

Doctors prescribed painkillers and antihistamine pills but although the scab started to heal, John stayed at home to recover.

His girlfriend Amy Hahs, 22, then found him lifeless on the sofa 10 days after having the tattoo done and he was pronounced dead by paramedics a short time later.

The cause of death last November was a blood clot in the lung from a deep vein thrombosis in his right calf.

Coroner Peter Dean told the inquest in Lowestoft, Suffolk, that the tattooist had followed all the necessary hygiene procedures. He said that it was difficult to say whether the thrombosis was related to the infected tattoo or to John, of Bungay, being less active due to the pain.

Recording a narrative verdict, Dr Dean said: “Clearly what took place was a tragic complication following a tattoo.”

Kevin Murrell, of Fine Line Tattooing in Beccles, said: “I have never heard of anything like this happening before.”


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