A body modification artist has admitted causing grievous bodily harm to three customers by carrying out a tongue-splitting procedure and removing an ear and a nipple.

Brendan McCarthy, from Bushbury, Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent relating to procedures carried out at his studio between 2012 and 2015.

The 50-year-old tattooist, who was charged in 2017 while working under the name Dr Evil, had previously denied the charges, claiming consent given by his clients provided him with a lawful defence.

McCarthy entered his guilty pleas at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Tuesday and was bailed to appear for sentencing on March 21.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said McCarthy has no medical qualifications and is not registered with The General Medical Council.

Calling it a "landmark" case, Rhiannon Jones, a senior prosecutor at the CPS, said: "This prosecution was not brought to seek to curtail individual choice or freedom of self-expression but because McCarthy, who was licensed to carry out tattooing and body piercing, was performing what were significant surgical procedures in a tattoo studio in Wolverhampton.

"This case confirms the existing law that surgical procedures must be carried out by properly trained, qualified and regulated surgeons or health care professionals. McCarthy was none of these and as a result his surgical procedures, albeit carried out at the request of his clients, were unlawful."

Public Protection officers at Wolverhampton Council said they had served a notice on McCarthy preventing him from carrying out "extreme services" under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Councillor Steve Evans, the city's Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: "We have exposed a national issue which requires a national regulation to be introduced to protect members of the public against the risks of extreme body modification.

"Whilst I'm sure Mr McCarthy considers himself an artist, providing a service removing and cutting people's body parts without adequate medical training from unsuitable retail premises, presents a risk to the public that we are not prepared to accept."