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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Naked hike blocked by police
Steve Gough
Police have paid Gough close attention
A man trying to walk the length of the UK dressed only in his walking boots has reportedly been sent back to the start of his journey by police.

Steve Gough, 44, from Eastleigh, Hampshire, was 10 days short of John O'Groats when he was arrested by police in Scotland, says the Times.

Despite many brushes with the law under his belt, this time it was discovered he had breached his bail conditions in Cornwall.

So Mr Gough was taken back to the county where he began his trip on 16 June.

But the paper reports his determination to finish his walk, which is aimed at highlighting what he considers his right to express himself.

Last month, while trekking through Shropshire, Mr Gough told BBC News Online: "Society is paranoid about the human body.

"It thinks it's shameful and embarrassing but how can something we are living in be shameful?"

Mr Gough, a father-of-two, also hit the headlines when he stripped on World Naturist Day in Hyde Park in June.

Steve Gough
Mr Gough marked World Naturist Day in London's Hyde Park
Along the route of his 845-mile trip, he has been arrested many times and appeared in court.

He has also suffered a beating for his nakedness - a gang of youths in St Ives, Cornwall, punched and kicked him, inflicting a broken nose and stitches around the eye.

Several mishaps in Cornwall were soon behind him as he made his way north.

In Yorkshire, sightings of him prompted police teams to scale the dales searching for him.

But his luck ran out in Scotland where, the Times reports, his second arrest there resulted in a police escort to a psychiatric hospital.

After being declared sane, he was picked up by Devon and Cornwall Police for a long drive south.

But he signalled his intent to resume the last leg of his walk on Thursday, the Times reports.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police told the paper their punishment was fair and they were only responding to complaints.

Read a selection of your comments below


Leave the man alone
Bonita Glanville Morris, UK
Oh for goodness sake! Leave the man alone - I think he's great for doing this and agree with his ideas about the rest of society being paranoid about nakedness. I would have thought that police time would have been better spent in rounding up little yobs such as those who attacked him, rather than charging him for showing his tackle in public! What a strange world we live in.
Bonita Glanville Morris, UK

I don't think a pleasant hike should be turned into a Lucien Freud exhibition.
John Hills, UK

This guy's an exhibitionist. He's the type of person who will camp at the border of a nude beach just to show off that he's comfortable with his own body. I'm not paranoid about the human body - but I definitely would like a choice as to where and when I have to have to see a naked person.
Dave, UK

The naked human body is not offensive
Andrew, UK
It is a huge waste of police time trying to stop this naked hike, just for the benefit of some prudes. The naked human body is not offensive or obscene and this person is not doing anything wrong.
Andrew, UK

I wonder if a female walker attempting the same feat would have met a similar reaction?
Mark Bowyer, UK

I would never do it myself, but I do find it absurd that the police have nothing better to do than spend their time chasing someone who is doing nothing more than displaying what is one of the most natural things in the world.
Laura, West Midlands, England

The gentleman just likes the freedom of fresh air all around the body
Margit Feil-Chester, UK
It appears the gentleman just likes the freedom of fresh air all around the body. As long as he is not sexually provocative in any way towards others there is no problem. And if other people happen to see him walking the hills/countryside -if they do not like what they see, they should look the other way !!!
Margit Feil-Chester, UK

At least he picked the right time to try it. Naked walking in Scotland in winter should be considered a danger sport.
Rich, Scotland

Following a careful study of the images on your website I have to applaud Mr. Gough for his outstanding equipment - the military grade 100 litre Crusader Bergen (rucksack) is UK Special Forces load carrying standard.
Major Andy Mckay, UK

I think if he wants to roam around naked, he should do it away from other people. Many individuals would feel threatened on coming across him- what if you were a mother with small children? He could be an attacking lunatic.
SL, London

Society' is bonkers, leave the poor fellow alone. He isn't doing any harm. As for attempting to have him declared insane, there are plenty of people who wear suits who qualify way before this chap.
Rob, UK

I think it's ridiculous that A man can be arrested for walking naked, as nature intended. If he was flashing, it would be a different matter, because that becomes a sexual offence, but he is just expressing his right to freedom. We are used to seeing people, especially women, wearing next to nothing, and wearing see-through clothing that leaves nothing to the imagination, and that is deemed acceptable. So a person who chooses to wear nothing at all should be allowed to do so. I wish Mr. Gough the best of luck with his journey.
Paul Bishop, England




SEE ALSO:
Naked rambler hands himself in
06 Aug 03  |  North Yorkshire
Naked rambler case dropped
26 Jun 03  |  England
Nude protester walks into trouble
17 Jun 03  |  Cornwall
Clothes on for nude picnic
01 Jun 03  |  Hampshire/Dorset


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