A man who named himself after an Aztec deity said spitting on the floor was ‘part of his religion’.

Arthur Williams, who was also charged by the police under the name of feathered god Quetzalcoatl, spat on a police station floor on September 3 last year before telling baffled officers that it was part of his religious practice.

On another occasion, after he was arrested for running off without paying a £150 food bill and spitting at police officers, 28-year-old Williams was ‘chanting under his breath’ as he was booked in at Abingdon police station.

At Oxford Crown Court on Thursday, Recorder John Bate-Williams imposed a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

Sentencing Williams, who appeared in court via video link and wearing a baseball cap and a rosary, the judge said: “You suffer from what is called a schizoaffective disorder and that has in the past been [compounded] by the use of illicit drugs. It is clear also from those medical reports this condition has improved to a significant extent then to some extent deteriorated in recent months.

“Both of the psychiatrists, with many, many years of clinical experience behind them recommend the court should impose a section 37 Mental Health Act order in this case.”

The defendant’s culpability – or blameworthiness – was ‘substantially reduced’ by his schizoaffective disorder, the judge said. But he added: “I don’t underestimate the distress which your behaviour caused to those immediately affected by it. It goes without saying in this case that you clearly need treatment, not punishment.”

Prosecutor Christopher Pembridge catalogued a spate of offending by Williams, which saw him spit at police officers, railway workers, and in police vans and police stations in Bristol, Oxfordshire and Kent.

The final set of crimes came when he was arrested in April 9 this year after his housemates called 999 over concerns about Williams’ behaviour.

Realising he was wanted on a court-issued warrant, the police officers broke down his bedroom door and found the defendant lying on his bed. ‘Without warning’ he punched one of the PCs to the face then spat at the officer’s colleague.

The court was told Williams had been made subject to a year-long community order in February for bizarre behaviour on September 15 last year.

He ran from a restaurant in Mill Street, Oxford, without paying his £150 bill. Chased down the street by a member of staff, Williams turned round then shouted: “You f***ing b****, I’m going to get you.”

A PC who turned up to help aimed his pepper spray as Williams advanced. He later told officers: “I hope you f***ing die slow.” Later, at the police station, he was ‘exhibiting strange behaviour’ including chanting under his breath and making derogatory comments.

Bethan Chichester, mitigating, said her client was currently at a mental health unit in Surrey, where a bed was available for his continued care.

Williams, formerly of Church Street, Enfield, pleaded guilty at earlier hearings to assaulting emergency workers, threatening behaviour, criminal damage and breaching a community order.

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