The case at Teesside Crown court made an interesting change of pace for Recorder William Lowe QC.
He dealt gently with John Michael Kirby, 29, who told police about the extra-terrestrials when he was arrested after his fingerprints were found amid the aftermath of a burglary at his mother's home. He had not been there for many months after stealing money from her to buy drugs.
The aliens told him not only to take food from the house but to give it to the homeless, he said, in a well-mannered interview in which he admitted everything and said that he would enter a guilty plea at court, which he did.
He also elected to represent himself, a course which alarms most professional lawyers because of the possible complications, especially in a defence involving aliens, and the danger of an accused messing things up and getting a severer penalty than might otherwise have been the case. Recorder Lowe warned Kirby of this, especially with regard to burglary which carries the prospect of jail.
Kirby went ahead, but only to say 'No, thank you,' when the judge asked him if he wanted to say anything in his defence. This was taken into account along with his straightforward guilty pleas and although Kirkby was given a year's sentence, he could have got a lot more (he had previously robbed his uncle as well) and will only serve half.