MAGISTRATES have closed down a flat in an area of York where anti-social behaviour has become such a problem police have mounted extra patrols there for weeks.

Simon Hughes’ home was among addresses in the estate off Nunnery Lane associated with a rise in problems that were having a “massive” impact on other residents, said PC Steven Armitage.

He described incidents including one when suspects in an armed robbery at a nearby shop in May had been arrested at Mr Hughes’ flat shortly after the raid.

Mr Hughes, 41, himself had received a suspended prison sentence for carrying a knife in an incident at Sainsbury’s in Blossom Street when men in balaclavas chased two other men, also in May.

And after the Dale Street flat had been closed to everyone except Mr Hughes in June, police arrested another man at the property when Mr Hughes was also present.

City of York Council claimed it had received several complaints about drug-related and violent incidents from residents who are too scared to give evidence to the police or to the courts.

Hughes denied being involved in anti-social behaviour on the estate and opposed the premises closure notice.

His solicitor Andrew Craven said: “He has vulnerable circumstances, he has vulnerable behaviour that will only be exasperated by throwing him out of his home.”

PC Armitage said: “Due to the high volume of anti-social behaviour linked to Mr Hughes’ address and others in the vicinity, recently the area has been denoted as a hot spot.

“Because of the amount of disorder and the massive impact on residents, we have recently had to have two officers posted there in excess of 12 hours a day for the last two weeks.”

Magistrates granted the premises closure notice banning anyone, including Mr Hughes, from being in the flat for three months.

They also criticised the apparent lack of investiga