A train traveller accused of dodging his fare was sent to Durham Jail for the night after he repeatedly told a Carlisle court his name is Jesus Christ.

With a neatly trimmed beard, and wearing a black T-shirt and a hood, the man wore a green blindfold as he made three appearances before District Judge Gerald Chalk at the city’s Rickergate Magistrates’ Court.

He repeatedly declined to give a former name or his national insurance number.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyers believe that the man’s date of birth to be January 1, 1991, though officials have so far been unable to find any trace of him in their records. Security staff initially told District Judge Chalk that the man had refused to come to court to be judged.

A short time later, he did agree to appear in the court.

Walking slowly, and guided by two uniformed security workers, the man was asked by the court clerk to identify himself and he replied: “Jesus Christ is here today. Who goes there?”

The man twice then refused to confirm that he had ever had another name, saying: “I am Jesus Christ here today; that is all that needs to be said.” The court clerk then read aloud the charge: that the defendant, who was arrested at Carlisle’s railway station on Monday, had failed to pay the required £19.70 fare for his journey on the service from Edinburgh. He said: “There is a not guilty plea; I don’t need to plead.”

Asked for his contact address, the man said: “NFA, Yellow House, Albion, Mauritius.”

Shortly before 2pm, the man was brought back to court and District Judge Chalk told him he was entitled to call himself whatever he wanted, but the court needed to know whom it was dealing with.

The judge asked the defendant: “Are you prepared to listen to me?” In response, the man put the same question back to District Judge Chalk. He was at this point again taken back to the cells.

The man calling himself Jesus was brought back to court at 3pm and the judge again asked him to provide the name that he was formerly known as – or his national insurance number, asking: “Are you prepared to give me either?”

The defendant replied: “I have given you an adequate name.”

The man then delivered a speech, complaining about his treatment while in custody and asking for the return of his possessions; he spoke also of his desire to “safeguard” individuals, including the elderly who are going blind.

He said he had a right to sunshine, fresh air and nature. The district judge formally accused the man of putting himself in contempt of court by refusing to provide his personal details.

He remanded Mr Christ in custody overnight to Durham Prison. The defendant is due to be brought back to court today to answer both that allegation and charge that he evaded a rail fare on the West Coast Main Line.