'Naked rambler' locked up again after leaving jail

 

A man who has spent most of the past five years in prison for refusing to wear clothes in public has been jailed again, this time for almost 22 months.

Stephen Gough, a former Royal Marine, has been dubbed "the Naked Rambler" thanks to his fondness for hiking across Britain in the nuddy.

He insists it is his human right to eschew clothing but the forces of law and order have deemed otherwise and he has been in jail almost continuously since May 2006.

His latest prison sentence of 657 days, his longest yet, was imposed after he walked naked out of Perth prison and enjoyed less than 60 seconds of freedom before waiting police arrested him for a breach of the peace.

The sentence comprises a year for breaching the peace, 90 days for contempt of court and the unserved portion of the 21-month sentence that he was released from early on 20 July.

His conviction for contempt of court came after he refused to wear clothes in the dock at Perth Sheriff Court during his trial. The hearing was delayed while court staff fetched a piece of paper for the naked defendant to sit on "for hygiene reasons".

Sheriff Michael Fletcher told him: "The court expects people to come here in a decent state of dress. That has been explained to you in the past. I gave you the opportunity to dress yourself."

Mr Gough said: "What I am doing is based on my belief about what I am and what I am is not indecent. Ordinary people have prejudices and intolerances." His defence, however, was rejected, as it has been at a succession of hearing over the last decade.

He came to public attention when he hiked from Lands End to John O'Groats naked apart from socks, boots, hat and rucksack. The 900-mile walk was intended to focus attention on public attitudes to nudity. It ended in January 2004 but, being punctuated by several arrests and two jail terms, it took him seven months to complete.

In 2005, while hiking across the Cairngorms with a companion as part of his 'Freedom to be Yourself' campaign, he told The Independent: "People talk about a healthy self-image and that it is important to be comfortable with your own body. We are challenging people to think about how they really feel about their own bodies."

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment