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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 16:01 GMT
Surgical mask fetishist jailed
Norman Hutchins
Hutchins was banned from using the NHS in a landmark case
A man with a fetish for surgical masks who became a "menace" to NHS staff has been jailed for three years.

Norman Hutchins, 53, of York, phoned hospitals and dental surgeries saying he needed the masks for charity events, Leeds Crown Court heard on Thursday.

He pleaded guilty to obtaining property by deception, threatening and abusive behaviour and possessing a knife.

Judge Paul Hoffman said Hutchins was "a menace to anyone involved in medical or dental institutions".

Nationwide ban

Sentencing Hutchins on Thursday, Judge Hoffman said the defendant was a "manipulative and deceptive" man.

He imposed an indefinite criminal anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) on Hutchins, which prohibits him from entering all NHS premises, primary care trusts and private medical establishments in England and Wales.

He is also banned from contacting any of those by telephone.

He would tell staff he needed the masks for amateur dramatics or he was doing a fun run in fancy dress.

Last June, Hutchins became the first person to be banned from all NHS premises in England and Wales when a similar order was imposed at York Crown Court.

NHS staff should not have to tolerate such behaviour from anybody
Jim Gee, NHS Security Management Service chief executive

When the Asbo was opposed, the court was told he had verbally and physically abused NHS staff 47 times in the five months.

NHS security managers asked for the ban when Hutchins was found with a knife.

Jim Gee, chief executive of the NHS Security Management Service, said: "Hutchins harassed NHS employees on 47 separate occasions during a five-month period.

"He caused many of them distress and alarm. NHS staff should not have to tolerate such behaviour from anybody, which is why we welcome today's decision.

"Not only is Hutchins tonight in prison but upon his release, there are restrictions in place which will prevent any repeat of this type of behaviour."


SEE ALSO:
Man banned from every hospital
02 Jun 04 |  North Yorkshire



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