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When Casey Victory got her first tattoo aged 16, she had no idea it would destroy her family and potentially land her father in jail.
She had wanted one since she was 13 – and three years later her dad took her to get a small dreamcatcher inked above her ankle.
Her mum was furious and initiated a bitter court battle against Casey’s father, only for all charges to be dropped.
Now, having turned 18, Casey has got a new tattoo in tribute to her father and grandparents who raised her.
It has the words ‘Dad, Pop and Nan’ beside a rose draped in rosary beads. And a quote underneath it reads: “Where there is family there is love.”
Casey told the Daily Star: “I got the tattoo after turning 18 because I was able to sign for it myself and prove to my mother that she can’t do anything about it.
“The meaning behind it is for my dad, nan and pop for how they raised me to be the person who I am today.
“When I got my first tattoo at 16 I hadn’t spoken to my mother in three years so after she brought my dad to court it just made me not want to talk to her even more.
“To this day I still don’t have any contact with my mother and I probably never will.”
The controversy started when Casey told her father, Bradley, she wanted to get a tattoo.
Truck driver Bradley was himself an ink enthusiast and even had Casey’s name tattooed to his bicep.
They lived in Sydney where it is legal to get a tattoo aged 16 with parental permission.
Casey decided on a small dreamcatcher on her ankle – a reminder to always chase her dreams.
But Bradley’s ex wife, Nadine Rae-Rees, was livid when she found out Casey’s father had signed off on it.
She started legal proceedings where the charges against Bradley were assault occasioning actual bodily harm and wounding a person with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
If found guilty, he could have spent five years in jail.
However, the charges were eventually dropped.
Reflecting on it, Casey said: “It was a very crazy time for me but after living with Dad since I was 10 and knowing all the stuff about what my mother put my dad through I knew she would do something.
“But I didn’t think she would actually take me to court.
"I wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself if he did go to jail for something that was my choice but it actually made mine and my dad’s connection stronger…
“I don’t regret my tattoo even though it caused myself and my dad some trouble but it’s made me into a stronger person too.
“It has also shown me what kind of person my mother is.”
Nadine later tried to get the law changed to prevent children being allowed tattoos.
But Casey believes having consent from one parent at 16 is more than adequate.
She is now planning to get a full sleeve on her arm representing different stages in her rollercoaster life.
Casey works full-time and has just moved into a new home with her boyfriend.
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