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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 15:49 GMT
Another jail term for naked walker
Steve Gough
Mr Gough wore only a blanket tied around his waist with a belt
A naked rambler has again been found guilty of breach of the peace and sentenced to a spell in a Scots jail.

Stephen Gough, 44, from Hampshire, was convicted after walking through a village in Easter Ross in the Highlands clad only in a hat and boots.

Gough has been arrested several times for his naked rambling, which he said is a protest against negative attitudes towards the human body.

He could be released in days as he has already served a month on remand.

There is no law saying thou shalt not go naked
Stephen Gough
Dingwall Sheriff Court heard how police received a 999 call from a resident who had spotted Gough walking on Drummond Road in Evanton, Easter Ross, on 29 November.

He was arrested just hours after being released from prison in Inverness where he was serving a three-month jail term for committing a similar offence on Cromarty Bridge.

He began his crusade to promote the virtues of going naked in June, setting off on a 900-mile trek from Land's End in England to John O'Groats in Scotland. His route also took him into Wales.

Gough, who was also found guilty of breaching bail conditions, argued that what he was doing was permitted under the rights of freedom of expression in the Human Rights Act.

Sentencing him, Sheriff Edward Savage said: "You seemed determined, Mr Gough, to break the law."

The sheriff jailed Gough for three months, backdated to 1 December.

Police station

Evanton resident Robert Thow, 52, told the court that he saw Gough walking through the village while he was in his car.

He said he contacted the police because: "I think there is a time and a place for it. I did not think Evanton was the place for it, or any other village."

Constable Ian Davidson said Gough was eventually found near a quarry on the Novar estate and taken to a local police station.

Gough appeared in court wearing a scarlet prison blanket tied with a police belt and a pair of handcuffs.

He said he wanted to "celebrate myself as a human being" and added that he had continued his walk as a protest at being continually arrested.

Gough told the court: "All I am doing is dressing how I want to dress and believing what I want to believe.

"There is no law saying thou shalt not go naked."

The former Royal Marine alleged that he got a warm reception in Evanton.

He said people on a bus waved at him, workers on a building site cheered and he had numerous requests for people to have their pictures taken with him.

He has 100 miles to go to complete his journey.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Craig Anderson
"His lawyer argued that people could simply look away"



SEE ALSO:
Naked rambler back behind bars
01 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Naked rambler arrested again
29 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Naked rambler's court ban
07 Nov 03  |  Scotland
'Naked rambler' back in jail
30 Oct 03  |  Hampshire/Dorset
'Naked rambler' back in cells
03 Oct 03  |  Scotland


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