A MAN desperate to be sectioned under the mental health act rather than go back to his hostel threatened a nurse with a broken piece of crockery and said: "Is this mental enough for you."

Blackburn magistrates heard Michael Bartley had spent 12 days in hospital being treated for flea bites which led to an infection of his hip.

And Damien Pickup, defending, said his client had been desperate not to go back to the "squalor" of Jay's Properties on Bolton Road, Blackburn.

"He wanted to be sectioned rather than go back to Jay's properties," said Mr Pickup.

"At least he knows that when he goes into prison he will have clean bedding."

Bartley, 30,of Jay's Properties, Bolton Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a television at Royal Blackburn Hospital, three charges of breaching a criminal behaviour order and using threatening behaviour towards a nurse at the hospital.

He was jailed for 12 months for the offences and a further four months for being in breach of a suspended prison sentence.

Alex Mann, prosecuting, said the first breach of the criminal behaviour order was on September 17 when a woman walking along King Street saw Bartley lying on a bench and urinating onto the pavement.

The hospital offences were committed on Sunday when Bartley was told by a mental health nurse that he was fit to be discharged.

"He became aggressive and said he didn't want to go back to his accommodation because of the poor conditions," said Mrs Mann.

Bartley showed his bites to the nurse and then started barging around the room, breaking a TV in the process.

He smashed a cup on the floor and then picked up a broken piece and held it towards the nurse, asking if that was mental enough for him to be detained.

Mr Pickup said his client knew it was his second breach of a suspended prison sentence and that he was going to prison.

He said Bartley had mental health problems and possibly post-traumatic stress disorder relating to him finding his father committing suicide by hanging when he was just five.

"That was around Halloween and always at this time of year he gets flashbacks," said Mr Pickup.

"He was already at a low ebb and that, coupled with the prospect of going back to the squalor at Jay's Properties was behind his behaviour.

"He initially put the broken pottery to his own throat before pointing at the nurse.

Imposing an immediate prison sentence the chairman of the magistrates said had previous breaches of the suspended sentence and had been given chances.

"These latest offences are aggravated by the fact they were against hospital staff who are there to care for people."