Benidorm Brits launch fundraiser for homeless man paid €100 for face tattoo in stag do prank

Outraged British residents in Benidorm have launched a fundraising drive to help a homeless man who was paid €100 to have a forehead tattoo as a stag do prank.

Benidorm Brits launch fundraiser for homeless man paid €100 for face tattoo in stag do prank
The photo posted of Tomek during the tattooing.

A group of British men reportedly on a stag do approached Tomek, a 34-year-old Polish man living on the streets in Benidorm, and offered him €100 to get the stag’s name inked on his face.

He was taken to a tattoo parlour where a tattooist agreed to write “Jamie Blake, North Shields, N28” but stopped after the name and first two letters of the town after Tomek complained it was too painful.

The stunt was posted on Facebook and picked up in British tabloids provoking widespread fury, not least among the British community living in Benidorm.

Karen Maling Cowles, the president of the Benidrom British Business association and coincidentally a partner in one of the resort’s tattoo parlours, RKA Tattoos. wrote an angry post about it calling for the tattoo artist responsible to be named and shamed.

“This is disgusting to think not only 100 euros was paid to this beggar by a tourist to have it done ,but more so what tattoo shop did this should be ashamed of themselves not tattoo artists as any professional would not do this!!! Please help us name and shame the shop that did this !!


She then decided to track down Tomek and offer him some help.

She said she found Tomek sleeping on the beach where he was jaundiced, had the shakes and told her he was an alcoholic. He told her that he walked to Benidorm from Poland after suffering a breakdown with the break-up of a relationship and suffered terrible back pain.

He admitted that of the €100 he had been given, some had been spent on booze and the rest was stolen from his pocket as he slept on the beach that night.

She had originally come up with the idea of raising money within the expat community in Benidorm to pay for tattoo removal for Tomek, but on meeting him realised that a lot more could be done.

“The removal of the tattoo is important because that shows that we do not accept that, but the rest of his life is very important,” she said. “Getting to know him, his needs are great. I want to get him the help he needs.”

The ‘Help Tomek’ campaign has been set up on Crowdfunding site, gofundme with the target of €3,000.

Meanwhile, Jamie Blake, the man whose name is inked onto Tomek’s forehead spoke out to ‘set the record straight’.

The 37-year-old told Chronicle Live that it wasn’t technically a stag do because he had split up from his intended but decided to go ahead with the gathering in Benidorm anyway.

He insisted:“I was not there at the time. There was a big group of around 30 of us drinking in the bar.

“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.”






Soldier-to-be snubbed over ‘tiny’ tattoo

A Spanish woman has been turned down by the country's military because she has a 4cm by 2cm tattoo just above her wrist.

Soldier-to-be snubbed over 'tiny' tattoo
Spanish King Juan Carlos salutes the Royal Guard during the Spanish National day military parade on October 12, 2012. Photo: Dominique Faget/AFP

The highly-qualified aspirant, identified only as J.C by Spanish press, was rejected because of new military rules introduced in June.

The 25-year-old has completed higher studies, can lay claim to a driving licence and holds an English language certificate.

She should be an ideal candidate for service in the country's armed forces but has fallen foul of the military's new tattoo code.

The rules forbid any tattoos which "contain expressions of images contrary to constitutional values, and military virtues," said Spanish national daily El País on Friday.

Tattoos which" dishonour the uniform, could compromise disciple or the image of the armed forces, are obscene, or could incite discrimination," are also banned said the daily.

In the case of J.C, who comes from the town of Getafe just south of Madrid, this shouldn't have been a problem.

Her tattoo is a 4cm by 2cm image of a reversed capital 'E' crossed by a diagonal line.

Unfortunately, the new rules also forbid tattoos which "could be visible while wearing any of the various army uniforms."

The tattoo of J.C is on her left arm just above the wrist, and as such could be visible when she is wearing a short-sleeved summer uniform, the Ministry of Defence told the aspiring soldier.

J.C went to a clinic to find out about having her tattoo removed, but this would have cost €1,200 and taken five weeks.

That was too expensive and too late, said El País.

Many Spanish soldiers have tattoos but the new rules are not retroactive.