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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Naked rambler cleared by sheriff
Stephen Gough
Stephen Gough was cleared of causing distress by the sheriff
"Naked rambler" Stephen Gough has been cleared of causing a breach of the peace by refusing to cover up in a public car park.

Despite being convicted eight times, Sheriff Isobel Poole ruled that his latest case was not proven.

The ex-marine, from Eastleigh in Hampshire, admitted refusing to dress before being released into Saughton Prison car park in Edinburgh.

He successfully argued that his naked state had not distressed others.

I can understand this conduct could be considered unpleasant to passers-by had there been any
Sheriff Isobel Poole

Isobel Poole ruled that there was insufficient evidence to show that his state of undress had caused alarm to members of the public, therefore causing a breach of the peace.

She told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that in this case there was no evidence of "actual alarm or disturbance".

She added: "I can understand this conduct could be considered unpleasant to passers-by had there been any but there is a lack of evidence to that effect."

Fiscal Depute Naeema Sajid had argued unsuccessfully that because the Saughton car park was visited by a variety of people, including children, an offence had been committed.

Boots and rucksack

Gough is currently awaiting a High Court decision on his appeal against contempt of court convictions for refusing to cover up in the dock.

Last year the ex-marine was jailed for four months for stripping off in the toilet of a plane flying from Southampton to Edinburgh.

He has also been convicted of walking into Edinburgh Sheriff Court naked, appearing naked in the dock and of walking through Midlothian wearing only boots and a rucksack.

He first hit the headlines when he rambled from Land's End to John O'Groats in a bid to raise awareness of his belief that people should be allowed to appear in their natural state.

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07 Jan 04 |  Scotland
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01 Dec 03 |  Scotland

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