A MAN with a surgical mask fetish is back behind bars after he swore at staff at City of York Council offices in George Hudson Street.

Cathy Turnbull, prosecuting, told York magistrates that Norman Hutchins had gone to the council’s Customer Advice Centre to demand bed and breakfast, and was such a nuisance, staff first called in the Salvation Army and then the police.

In 2005, Hutchins was banned from visiting or contacting any NHS establishment in England and Wales unless he has a real medical emergency under an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) imposed after he repeatedly harassed health staff and threatened a York Hospital security officer with a knife.

Hutchins’ solicitor, Chris McGrogan, said his client was living on the streets. Police had advised Hutchins to go to the centre to seek accommodation through the council’s housing department, when he told them he had been robbed and lost everything.

“When he felt he wasn’t receiving the assistance he was asking for, he became enraged and he accepts he was abusive and swearing,” said Mr McGrogan.

Hutchins, 59, no fixed address, admitted breaching his ASBO by his behaviour at the offices and was jailed for 12 weeks, eight of which had been suspended previously by Bradford magistrates when they sentenced him for an earlier breach.

Miss Turnbull said staff told Hutchins to seek accommodation at a hostel because the advice centre was not a guesthouse. At one stage after police arrived, Hutchins went out and sat on the pavement but then went back inside and was abusive again.

Mr McGrogan said Hutchins had not been abusive at an NHS establishment. He had “difficulties” with a medical condition which were exacerbated when he was upset and he had been unable to breathe towards the end of the incident. He had left at one stage when asked to do so.