The man who became world famous for an amateur tattoo reading "Devast8" across his face has been convicted of assaulting and threatening a pregnant woman.
Mark Anthony Cropp, 21, became internationally known in 2017 after he spoke to the Herald about being unable to get a job because of his extensive facial ink.
He said his brother tattooed the nickname "Devast8" on his face during a heavy night of drinking in jail.
When released he wanted to get off the unemployment benefit, get a job and put food on the table for his family.
But he struggled, he said, because of the significant inking on his face.
The Herald can now reveal that Cropp was last week convicted of assaulting and threatening a pregnant woman.
He was due to stand trial in the Papakura District Court before a judge alone, but on the day he pleaded guilty to charges of male assaults female and threatening to injure with intent to frighten.
His victim was 17 weeks pregnant at the time of the offending.
Judge Gerard Winter granted the Herald access to the court file so the case against Cropp could be reported in full.
On May 24 last year Cropp and the woman - who cannot be identified - argued over her cellphone.
He had demanded to see who she had been contacting.
When she refused Cropp said to her "you better shut the f**k up b***h or I'll punch your mouth in".
She replied "do it then, hasn't stopped you before".
Five days later the pair argued again.
This time they were in a car and Cropp was driving.
Again, he swore at the woman and she asked him to stop the car.
When he refused she opened the door in an attempt to get away from him.
Cropp grabbed her by the collar of her hoodie, twisting it around her neck so her breathing was restricted.
When they reached their destination Cropp kicked the woman in the knee.
He later told police he grabbed her hoodie to stop her getting out of the car in traffic.
Cropp, who appeared in court wearing a bumbag with the word Devast8 penned in block letters on the waist strap, tried to prevent the Herald from covering the case.
His lawyer Graham Reid argued that while Cropp was "well known because he willingly placed himself in the hands of the media previously", his circumstances had since changed.
"Just because (Cropp) has previously agreed to be media fodder, that does not automatically mean his life and reputation becomes property of the same media forever," he submitted to the court.
"(Cropp) found it difficult to gain employment, accommodation, obtain social support - in part due to his facial tattoo, but this has been cruelly aggravated by being repeatedly mocked and ridiculed by the media."
Cropp's brother inked the word Devast8 onto his face one night in prison. NZ Herald photograph
Reid said Cropp wanted to move on with his life but the "repeated incursions of the media have put a strain" on him.
He said if the Herald covered the current case it would cause his client "heightened notoriety" and "unwanted attention".
Reid said since the charges were first reported in September last year, Cropp had been subject to "threats of death and injury" from members of the public.
"Every time he is subject to media reports he finds himself concerned for his own safety," he said.
"In regard to the public interest factor… apart from (Cropp's) facial tattoo there is nothing that distinguishes this matter from dozens of similar cases before the courts every day.
"The reporting of this case has more to do with voyeurism and entertainment than what could properly be called 'public interest'.
Cropp wrote an affidavit in opposition of the media coverage.
Describing himself as a "job seeker" he said he was currently looking for a job.
"After I appeared in the Herald (in 2017) my story went viral and I got emails from all over the world with people wanting to interview me," he wrote.
"At the time I thought it was cool having my image everywhere and the attention.
"I have, however, moved on now and this media attention messes with my life."
Cropp said every time a story about him was published he was "subject to death threats and abuse from strangers" when he was walking down the street.
"It does not feel safe for me… it makes it hard just to get on with life when people are pre-judging you all the time from what they are seeing in the media and doing stuff like yelling at me for absolutely no reason when they drive past," he wrote.
Cropp blamed media attention for his struggle to get accommodation.
"The landlords knew all about my previous convictions from the media and this made it hard to get a place to rent," he explained.
"I understand that there has been an allegation and that I must be part of the court process as a result, but it is unfair that (I) be subjected to more media scrutiny than anyone else."
Judge Ajit Swaran Singh granted the Herald's application to photograph and film Cropp in court, agreeing that the case was a matter of public interest and there was no good reason to prevent publication of details and images.
Cropp started to have the tattoo removed after a free offer from an Auckland company. He only attended one session. NZ Herald photograph
Cropp will be sentenced in May.
When he first spoke to the Herald in 2017 Cropp revealed his regret over the tattoo, which stretches the width of his face in dark black ink.
"Once it was started, I thought, I can't go back on it now," he said of the night his brother tattooed the word on his face.
"I wish I had stopped while the outline was there to be quite honest."
Despite the regrets he wanted to keep the tattoo and hoped potential employers could look past it.
However, after his interview his story went viral and he decided to have it removed.
He accepted an offer from Sacred Laser in Kingsland to have it removed for free and attended one appointment but did not return for further work.