By Carla Penman

The man with the famed Devast8 tattoo has done a U-turn on removing it.

Mark Cropp, 19, shot to fame globally after Herald Focus interviewed him last month about his plea for a job on Facebook. But he has decided not to get rid of it.

His brother tattooed the nickname "Devast8" on his face during a heavy night of drinking in jail.

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"Once it was started, I thought, I can't go back on it now.

"I wish I had stopped while the outline was there to be quite honest," he said.

Cropp had been serving a two-year, three-month sentence for pulling a knife on a tourist over a drug deal gone wrong.

He initially said he had hoped to keep the tattoo and for a potential employer to look past it, but he changed his mind overnight when he became an international sensation, and accepted an offer from Sacred Laser in Kingsland to have it removed for free.

Mark Cropp had one session to remove the tattoo at Sacred Laser, which offered to do the job free. Photo / NZ Herald
Mark Cropp had one session to remove the tattoo at Sacred Laser, which offered to do the job free. Photo / NZ Herald

Herald Focus went to Cropp's first laser removal session, where a section of his tattoo was worked on and partly lasered off.

On Wednesday, Cropp told Herald Focus he was working night shifts and things were going well so had put the laser removal on hold until he got used to his hours.

However, on Thursday, when asked about his progress, Sacred Laser said Cropp had rejected their offer and wouldn't be having further sessions.

The parlour expressed disappointment, but said their offer to remove it for free still stood if Cropp were to change his mind.

Cropp has responded this afternoon by text, through his partner, saying he "doesn't want any more [of the tattoo] removed as he just wanted a job" and now that he has one, he wants to stay out of the media.