A homeless man who was allegedly paid by a British stag party to have the groom’s name tattooed on his forehead has explained why he agreed to the stunt.
The Polish national, known only as Tomek, claims to have been paid £89 by the group, who were celebrating while in Benidorm, Spain.
Tomek, who met the lads on the Spanish party resort in May, said he was paid to have ‘Jamie Blake, North Shields, NE28’ tattooed onto his forehead.
The pictures sparked an uproar on Facebook but Tomek said he only accepted the offer so he could eat.
He told Spanish newspaper El Mundo: ‘When you live on the street, you’re hungry and you need to drink, that kind of money is like winning the lottery.
‘There weren’t 30 people there, like the British papers have said. There was just one person, who was as drunk as I was, laughing and taking photos.
‘When I couldn’t take it any more because the part they were tattooing was just skin and bone, he looked at me and just said: ‘Go.’’
He added: ‘If it hurt me so much and I was totally drunk, I can’t imagine how much it would hurt someone who was sober.’
The Polish national said he could not understand why the tattooist had not refused the job when he saw how drunk he was. The pain, he added, had been excruciating.
Stag Jamie Blake, 37, said that he had had nothing to do with the incident, and claimed that Tomek was not homeless – and not paid to have the tattoo.
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He told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle: ‘There was a group of Irish lads there as well and Tomek. He isn’t homeless, he lives with my friend and works on the strip.
‘I got drunk and was asked to leave the bar. I was never in the tattoo parlour and as far as I know he was not paid any money.’
Local social services and the Benidorm British Business Association have raised over £2,700 for Tomek and he has been offered medical treatment and told to stop drinking.
The incident has been reported to the police.