This is one of those cases when I’m not sure a trial is necessary.
46-Year-old Stephen Kirkbride was hauled into court on a shoplifting charge, accused of stealing a pricey waterproof jacket from a sporting goods store. Ok, so he started out being accused, but the case quickly turned from a who done it to a he done it when he arrived to profess his innocence while wearing the evidence.
Store manager Deborah Robson said: ‘I pointed the jacket out to the police officer and he seized it straight away.’
Kirkbride, of no fixed address, told the court that he had picked up the expensive coat, which had large tear marks where security tags had been removed, from a charity shop.
‘It was damaged but I thought it was a bargain,’ he said.
Kendal police constable Jose da Silve Neto had already confiscated the two-part coat’s inner fleece from Kirkbride’s previous address at Town View Fields, Kendal, after CCTV footage showed the defendant taking the jacket from Sports Direct on February 3.
However, police had not been able to find the gortex outer layer until the defendant wore it to court.
Kirkbride said he had picked up his courtroom attire ‘from a friend’s house’, although he refused to reveal the person’s identity.
Crown prosecutor David Duke said: ‘You’re making this up as you go along, aren’t you?’.
Kirkbride’s lawyer tried to use the who would be that stupid argument, but since the answer was staring everyone in the face, it was unsuccessful.
Kirkbride’s next court appearance is scheduled for July, and I’m sure the authorities will have an outfit picked out for him.