Why facial tattoos are being removed
A NOTORIOUS trouble-maker is arranging to have his distinctive facial tattoos removed.
Sonny Parsons, aged 23, was due at an appointment on the day he faced Plymouth magistrates for having an illegal drug in the street.
His solicitor had previously told a court his extensive facial tattoos could be seen as 'some form of self-harm'.
Geoff Parlby told the latest hearing: "His mother believes it is of more than symbolic importance that he is arranging to have his facial tattoos removed.
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"He is arranging that through his GP. He wants to make progress and put his past behind him."
The Herald understands the Parsons family is paying for the cost of tattoo removal privately. The family declined to comment after the case.
Parsons, of Boringdon Avenue, St Budeaux, admitted possession of 90 millilitres of methadone on March 24.
He admitted failing to answer bail as soon as possible after May 21.
Zeenat Begum, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Parsons was spotted on CCTV approaching people and apparently trying to sell them a laptop computer in George Street, Devonport, at around 9am.
She said an officer searched Parsons and found he had a small bottle containing 90 millilitres of methadone, a heroin substitute.
Miss Begum said he told police he had taken the drug as part-payment for the computer.
Mr Parlby said Parsons had no history of heroin or methadone use.
He added he was bailed for the offence until May 21, but was in the interim sent to jail for 12 weeks.
Mr Parlby said his client could not answer his bail because he was in custody, but should have surrendered as soon as he was released on June 8.
He said Parsons had received help from the mental health service and was suffering from 'extremely low self-esteem'.
Mr Parlby said: "He has for years abused Valium, without which he hardly feels like he can leave the house.
"When he has it, he feels like he can conquer the world."
The court heard Parsons has previous convictions including assault, affray and public disorder.
He added he had been in custody for two days since being arrested for failing to answer his bail.
Magistrates fined him £100 for each offence but waived any payment because he had spent time in custody.
Presiding magistrate Clare Thomas said: "We have been lenient with you but this is a turning point."