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 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 15:46 GMT
Naked defendant outrages judge
Steve Gough
Mr Gough said he was defending his right to go nude
A naturist arrested for walking down a busy street with no clothes on has turned up at court naked.

Steve Gough cycled five miles to Southampton Magistrates Court dressed in nothing but open-toed sandals.

The judge refused to let the 43-year-old into the dock and police arrested him for an alleged breach of the peace.

The father-of-two had been charged with indecent exposure after strolling naked near his home in Eastleigh, Hampshire.

It may be cold this morning but I'm feeling quite fresh

Steve Gough
He did not wear any clothes to court in defence of what he alleged was his right to go nude.

He told a crowd of supporters: "It may be cold this morning but I'm feeling quite fresh.

"I'm quite confused about it really because I thought this was a free country.

"I'm just exercising my right to dress how I like in this green and pleasant land.

No one can appear here naked

Lorraine Morgan, district judge
"No one is running around screaming just because I'm standing here naked."

In a brief hearing, district judge Lorraine Morgan said she would not allow Gough to appear naked in the court room.

She said: "It is a matter for me to uphold the dignity of the court and no one can appear here naked.

"Not even shorts would be allowed."

The editor of Britain 's only naturist magazine has condemned Mr Gough's latest arrest.

Steve Gough
Police arrested Mr Gough as he entered court
Mark Nisbet, of Health and Efficiency magazine, said: "What a waste of police and public resources. There is nothing inherently indecent about the naked human body."

"For years naturists have been plagued by our stupid exposure laws."

Mr Gough must now appear in court again at a date to be fixed.

He has been taken to Southampton Central police station.


Click here to go to Southampton
See also:

08 Jan 03 | England
10 Jul 02 | England
29 May 02 | England
08 Feb 01 | Wales
11 Sep 00 | Entertainment
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