‘Aliens’ leader’ from Plant Sci Fi jailed after drunken fracas in Nelson

David Hopwood

David Hopwood

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A KNIFE-WIELDING drunk who threatened police and the public told officers he was a leader of a group of aliens from a planet called Sci Fi, a court heard.

David Hopwood was so aggressive and ignoring warnings to disarm that police used a Taser gun. He was arrested and taken to hospital.

On the way, he told police he was not from earth and, they would say, seemed to genuinely believe what he was telling them.

Hopwood claimed aliens spoke to him through the television and his head and wanted the officers killed.

Burnley Crown Court was told how the defendant had a long history of alcohol abuse and, as a result, suffered drink-induced psychosis. He had earlier been referred to the mental health team, but had still been drinking and had been violent towards those trying to help him.

The defendant (47), of Fir Street, Nelson, had been convicted of affray on March 14th and had been committed for sentence by magistrates. He was jailed for a year.

Mr David Macro (prosecuting) told the court police were called to Fir Street because of reports the defendant was suspected of overdosing. He had threatened ambulance staff.

Two officers attended, could hear Hopwood shouting and throwing things in the house and the paramedics advised they should perhaps call reinforcements. The defendant then appeared at the front door with a seven-inch kitchen knife.

He said to an officer: “You know who you are. Go on, tell them.” The officer hadn’t a clue what Hopwood, who had called him Sci Fi, was talking about.

The defendant got aggressive, tried to leave his small garden forecourt, but was told not to move any further. Hopwood told the officer to shut up, shouted and swore and then lunged in his direction. A large crowd was by this time gathering at the top of the street.

Mr Macro said the defendant was warned to stay still, yet went back inside and came out with another knife.

Reinforcements arrived, by which time the defendant was in the middle of the street, waving the knives and approaching the police.

He threatened to stab an officer, paced around, was told to disarm, didn’t and was Tasered. It had immediate effect and he dropped the knives.

Hopwood was later questioned and could remember being Tasered, but nothing else about the incident. He said he had recently been released from hospital, was awaiting a new course of medication for depression, decided to drink vodka and had taken 30 painkillers.

Mr Tim Storrie, for Hopwood, described the case as “very sad” and said: “He has been beset by the curse of alcohol and the psychosis which comes with it.”

The barrister said the defendant had been going to his GP every two weeks for review, had abstained from alcohol and was keen to involve himself with the services that were available..

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt told Hopwood he knew perfectly well that his problems and the offences stemmed from his long history of alcohol abuse.

She continued: “I am quite satisfied that you would not attend voluntarily for alcohol treatment. You never have so far.”