A teen father went viral after he complained he couldn’t get work because he was being judged for having DEVAST8 tattooed across the lower part of his face.
Mark Cropp was serving a two-year sentence in Otago Correctional Facility for aggravated robbery after he and an associate pulled a knife on a tourist in Nelson on New Zealand’s South Island.
Cropp said he committed the crimes to support himself and his pregnant girlfriend after they were kicked out of his parents’ home.
Cropp now hopes to make some changes in his life.
“I have [learned] from my mistake,” he said. “I still don’t think people should be judged by the tattoos on their face — but I know it will keep happening unless I do something about it.”
Cropp explained to the New Zealand Herald that he inked the tattoo while he was serving time in prison. The tattoo, he claimed, was done when he was drunk. His brother, who was also his cellmate, helped him.
Once he got out of prison, however, Cropp complained on Facebook that he couldn’t get a job. But after his story was featured on a number of news media websites, he got dozens of offers. He turned them down, saying he wanted to find the right one.
“Mark has accepted a local scaffolding job,” his girlfriend, Taneia Ruki, told Daily Mail Australia.
“He could be starting as early as Monday. We are all still locking in the starting day.”
As to why he rejected dozens of offers, she added: “Most of those were outside New Zealand, so they weren’t on the cards.”
Cropp posted a job appeal on Facebook after he was turned down by recruitment agencies.
“I’m keen as to work but have one thing that is stopping me and that’s my tattoo on my face,” he wrote. “I don’t have a CV as of yet but have worked at NZ brick distributors before, also a scrap metal yard … Keen as on job or work place that will take me on.”