A New Zealand teenage father who covered half his face with a tattoo reading “DEVAST8” while in jail has complained he is having trouble finding a job.
While serving a two-year sentence for armed robbery, Mark Cropp was convinced by his brother, whom he shared a cell with, to go under the needle after a homemade beer drinking session.
"Part of jail life, you get people with tattoos and you look at them, step back, 'Watch out for that guy' sort of thing,” the young dad told the NZ Herald.
“Before I knew it I had this on my face... It was swollen like a bloody pumpkin."
Now a free man, the 19-year-old said his ink is proving to be a burden in his hunt for employment.
While he was locked up, Cropp's partner lost custody of their two-year-old daughter.
He is now desperately trying to get her back.
“Hey, I'm keen as to work, but have one thing that is stoping me and thats my tattoo on my face [sic],” Cropp wrote on the Auckland job Facebook page
“Keen as on job or work place that will take me on [sic].”
The ex-con said he had quite literally been laughed out the building while applying for jobs in his native Christchurch.
“One employment place said to me: ‘I wouldn't employ you with that on your face, I wouldn't even take a second look at you'," Cropp recalled.
“'I've had other people that just shrugged and laughed at me.”
The teenager made the decision to share his story on Facebook so people could see he’s “just a normal human being”.
“I was over people judging for my facial tattoo... that's why I made the decision to put that photo on Facebook, to turn around and say 'I am just a normal human being, you do not have to judge me because of the way I look’.”