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Man fined over illegal SA tanning beds

AAP logoAAP 17/08/2016 By Michael Ramsey

A man who set up a tanning bed business out of his Adelaide garage has become the first person in Australia to be convicted of operating an illegal solarium.

Jake Martin-Herde, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of offering and providing cosmetic tanning for a fee to the public following an investigation by SA's Environmental Protection Authority.

The Adelaide Magistrates Court was told Martin-Herde had set up three tanning beds and a waiting area in his garage and had advertised the "Sharelarium" business extensively on social media.

The commercial use of tanning beds was outlawed in SA in December 2014 and has also been made illegal in other states.

Chief Magistrate Mary-Louise Hribal on Wednesday fined Martin-Herde $2100 and ordered him to pay $900 in court fees.

Martin-Herde had faced a maximum fine of $10,000 for each of his two charges but received a lighter penalty which included a discount for an early guilty plea.

Prosecutor Kathleen Moloney said Martin-Herde had attempted to circumvent the law using a "sham shareholder agreement" where customers purchased a share in one of the beds rather than paying directly for the service.

Ms Moloney said research had shown outlawing solariums could prevent one in six melanoma diagnoses among young people in Australia.

Defence lawyer Gilbert Aitken said Martin-Herde had been "stupidly" misled into believing he was acting within the law by using the shareholder agreement.

He said his client had pleaded guilty once advised he had broken the law and had gone to no efforts to cover up the business.

"The bottom line is this was not secret," Mr Aitken said.

"It was out there. It was advertised."

Ms Hribal accepted that Martin-Herde had been misled, saying he should be given the opportunity to move on with his new career as a joint sealer in Sydney.

EPA chief Tony Circelli said he believed Martin-Herde's conviction would deter other potential tanning bed operators.

"This activity is illegal because of its potential to have serious health problems (for) people who are frequently exposed to the radiation that is emitted from sunbeds," he said in a statement.

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