The young father who shot to worldwide infamy after pleading for work despite his large and distinctive ‘DEVAST8’ face tattoo has been spotted at his new job.
Mark Cropp, 19, had been drinking homebrew alcohol while in a New Zealand prison when his brother – also his cellmate – gave him the facial marking.
His pleas for employment made headlines around the world, and now he has been seen working as a traffic controller.
His mother Kelly Doyle said he has been working with the company based in Hamilton on the North Island for about six or seven weeks.
After a photo of Cropp working was posted to Facebook, Ms Doyle said she was ‘super proud’ of her son.
‘So super proud of my son for getting a job and proving all the haters wrong.’
The photo of Cropp shows him wearing a high-visibility vest, and holding a walkie talkie.
The teenage father spoke out about his lack of job prospects in July 2017.
He served a two-year jail sentence for aggravated robbery after he pulled a knife on a tourist in a fake drug deal.
He was inundated with job offers and a chance to remove the tattoo using laser treatment for free.
Cropp initially took up the removal offer but only attended one of 12 scheduled sessions, reportedly concerned with the effect the treatment would have on his skin.
In late July Cropp’s partner Taneia Ruki said he had accepted a scaffolding job, and in August he was spotted at an Auckland nightclub shooting cash into the crowd.
Cropp described the painful process of getting the tattoo,
‘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.
‘Before I knew it I had this on my face… It was swollen like a bloody pumpkin.’
He said the tattoo was now ‘part of who I am’.