In Brief

British stags ‘paid homeless man to tattoo forehead’

North Shields man denies paying Polish national to take part in painful Benidorm stunt

A homeless man who claims he was paid €100 (£90) by a British stag party to have the groom’s name tattooed on his forehead says the pain was “excruciating”.

Tomek, a Polish national identified only by his first name, told Spanish media that he encountered the group of around 30 men in stag mecca Benidorm in May.

The revellers, from Newcastle, allegedly offered him cash to have “Jamie Blake, North Shields, NE28” - the name and address of the groom - tattooed on his forehead.

Tomek, an alcoholic, said he agreed because he was drunk and desperate to buy more booze.

“When you live on the street, you’re hungry and you need to drink, that kind of money is like winning the lottery,” he told Spanish daily El Mundo.

The 34-year-old has been living rough in the resort town after the breakdown of a relationship in Poland, after which he quit his job in a hotel and walked to Spain on foot.

Tomek’s ordeal went viral after the tattoo parlour posted images on social media, showing him “smiling and gesturing a ‘peace’ sign, before he had to stop because getting the tattoo was too painful”, says the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

He told El Mundo: “I couldn’t take it any more because the part they were tattooing was just skin and bone.”

However, the groom tells a very different story of the night in question. Jamie Blake, who now lives in Benidorm and works on the town’s bustling “strip”, claims that Tomek has a job and a place to sleep.

“He isn’t homeless, he lives with my friend and works on the strip,” he told the Chronicle, adding that he was not in the tattoo parlour when the photo was taken and had not paid Tomek any money.

The Guardian reports that social services and Benidorm British Business Association have put together €3,000 to get Tomek back on his feet.

Police are investigating the incident.

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