An 86-year-old woman was left permanently scarred and in ‘excruciating pain’ after being treated by a Horsham acupuncturist.
Horsham District Council says that the woman acupuncturist - based in Horsham town centre - was unlicensed and had ‘exposed the general public to harm.’
The acupuncturist - Ms Yao Weinx known as LALA - was found guilty at Worthing magistrates court of causing burns to the 86-year-old pensioner.
Magistrates had earlier rejected her plea of not guilty, concluding, says Horsham Council, that Yao Weinx caused ‘an injury of significant harm, and displayed a wilful blindness to risk.’
She was sentenced to 26 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay almost £6,000 in costs.
A council spokesman said after the hearing: “The court concluded the general public had been exposed to harm and confirmed to Ms Yao Weinx she now had a criminal record.
“The unlicensed acupuncturist should not have treated the pensioner, who had hoped to find relief for her hip, but instead was left with a serious debilitating burn injury to her ankle,” said the council.
“The lady was not aware that the law requires an operator’s licence to be displayed, and was shocked to find the business uninsured, unlicensed and operating illegally.
“The visit, which took place in 2017, resulted in excruciating pain, permanent scarring and loss of mobility for the lady in question.”
Horsham District Council cabinet member for wellbeing Tricia Youtan said after the hearing:“This was an extremely shocking case which resulted in severe injuries.
“Putting the public’s health and safety first is key for us as a council and we take offences like this very seriously. It is heartening that the courts share our views.
“Our Environmental Health team will continue to do all within its power to make sure that local businesses comply so that the public are not exposed to harmful risks.”
Businesses seeking help and advice on health and safety measures should contact the council’s environmental health and licensing team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01403 215641.