Naked Rambler, Stephen Gough (A Former Royal Marine), Faces Life In Prison

The naked rambler, Stephen Gough, has been told he will spend the rest of his life behind bars if he continues refusing to wear clothes in public.

Stephen Gough on his naked ramble from Land's End to John O'Groats with his then girlfriend Melanie Roberts
Stephen Gough on his naked ramble from Land’s End to John O’Groats with his then girlfriend Melanie Roberts

The former Royal Marine, who became notorious for his naked hike from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2003, has spent much of the past seven years in prison for repeatedly appearing nude in public.

He was yesterday found guilty of breaching the peace when he walked naked from Perth prison in December after finishing a 12 month sentence for the same offence. Mr Gough was warned he will continue to be jailed every time he steps out of prison without any clothes on.

The 50-year-old, who conducted his own defence while appearing in court completely naked, turned down an offer to walk free yesterday on the condition that he got dressed.

Perth Sheriff Lindsay Foulis told Gough she would consider granting him bail to go home to his “warmer” house in Eastleigh, Hampshire, if he agreed to put some clothes on. The former lorry driver refused the offer and was remanded in custody.

Ordering psychological and psychiatric reports, the Sheriff said: “When the day comes for you to be released, you will be apprehended and the same process gone through again.”

Mr Gough said he accepted he could “potentially” remain in jail forever and added: “This is about individual freedom.”

The father of two has spent most of the past seven years in Scottish jails after stripping off on a flight to Edinburgh. Since then he has declined to wear prison uniform or to appear clothed in court, resulting in further custodial sentences for contempt.

Mr Gough completed his first naked ramble across Britain in 2003. He was arrested 15 times during the journey and spent 140 nights in jail, mainly in Scotland where the authorities take a stricter approach to public nudity than in England and Wales. He finished his second hike with his then girlfriend Melanie Roberts three years later.

It was while returning to Edinburgh to appeal against contempt of court convictions in Scotland that he undressed on board an early morning flight from Bournemouth airport.

By Heidi Blake
Published: 7:00AM GMT 13 Jan 2010

Source: The Telegraph

2 thoughts on “Naked Rambler, Stephen Gough (A Former Royal Marine), Faces Life In Prison

  1. NudistStop.com Announces GOUGH NUDE!

    The International Campaign to Free The Naked Rambler

    NudistStop.com is proud to announce our international online campaign GOUGH NUDE! to urge Scottish authorities to grant Stephen Gough, aka “the Naked Rambler” his freedom and to stop harrassing him with meaningless prosecutions.

    Stephen Gough, also known as The Naked Rambler, has been walking across Scotland and parts of the UK, in the nude for the better part of the last 7 years – the better part, that is, when he is not in jail. Scottish authorities have taken to sentencing him to prison for the offense of ‘breaching the peace’ which they have conveniently labelled his public act of civil disobedience. Last month, Gough, a former Royal Marine, was taken back into custody seconds after being released from the Perth Prison on December 17th for his refusal to get dressed. Sheriff Lindsay Foulis indicated that Gough would be arrested “again and again and again” if he failed to bend to the will of the law – which could result in Gough being perpetually imprisoned for a lifetime.

    To date, the cost of prosecuting and imprisoning the Naked Rambler has exceeded £200,000 (approximately $325,000). Gough, who has compared himself to black civil rights activist Rosa Parks said: “Essentially this is about individual freedom and people’s tolerance to other people being different. I understand a lot of people will disagree and have strong feelings about it.” With regard to the possibility of extended periods of incarceration, Gough added: “People who have brought great change often have to go to prison first. People often have to go to prison for many years before other’s see the light.”

    A representative of NudistStop.com made the following statement in support of the campaign. “Several milliion people enjoy the benefits of nude recreation and a nudist lifestyle across the world and every one of them is in peril of losing the freedom to do so at the hands of members of society who grievously over-react to simple, non-sexual, social nudity. The worst manifestation of this are laws that senselessly restrict one’s ability to enjoy a natural and nude state without harassment. The idea of someone facing lifetime imprisonment for simply appearing nude in public strikes us as cruel and unusual in the extreme. Mr. Gough is taking a principled and personal stand to do something about that. In our opinion, anyone who values such freedom should be ready to stand right beside him. We believe this campaign offers just such an opportunity and we are confident it will attract many supporters to Mr. Gough’s side.”

    NudistStop’s campaign offers supporters the opportunity to sign a petition that reads: “We the undersigned hereby urge all relevant officials in Scotland to release Stephen Gough from custody, to end his perpetual harrassment by law enforcement agencies and the courts and to seriously reconsider their draconian measures for addressing simple, non-sexual public nudity.”

    Individuals wishing to participate in the campaign can do so at http://www.nudiststop.com/gough_nude_sfw

    NudistStop.com is the one stop destination for individuals and families interested in nudist, naturist and “clothing optional” lifestyles. NudistStop provides news, information, discussion forums, products and services of interest to the nudist/naturist community worldwide.

  2. Hi¡

    I’m a convinced nudist, and usually I go to he nudists beaches only. I’m an activist nudist as well, because I have experiences of walking around in the nude in Spain, in Madrid and in Barcelon in the streets, and really I can say that it is a great experience of freedown.

    Best regards,
    Javier

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